The latest solution Vidarbha's agrarian crisis is a fertilising cow urine spray
The latest solution being touted for the Vidarbha region in Maharashtra, which has witnessed many farmer suicides over failed crops, “is combination of human amino acids and cow urine”, which is said boost cotton yield by up to 20% - around two to four quintal of more cotton per hectare.
Developed by scientists at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Rural Industrialisation (MGIRI), several farmers in the Wardha and Yavatmal districts of Vidarbha have used the spray and claim that it is highly effective.
Dr PB Kale, director of MGIRI, Wardha says, “The product is a combination of human amino acids and cow urine. The amino acid is extracted from human hair, bird feathers and also cow hair. It will be a game-changer in the agriculture sector of Vidarbha.”
Similar products cost Rs 700 per litre, whereas MGIRI's product costs Rs 200 per litre
Scientists at the Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR), Nagpur, have also tested the product over the period of a year, and have endorsed the claims.
Vidarbha, famous as Maharashtra’s cotton belt has been hit hard over the past few years. Despite rich soil quality, the farmers in the region have been facing acute problems of low yield.
Bad crops and bad loans proved fatal for thousands, who took the decision to take their lives.
Though the research on the concept of combining cow urine and human amino acids began long ago, it gained momentum in 2009-10.
After meticulous research and development, MGIRI made a combination of human amino acid and cow urine spray. The samples were distributed to thousands of farmers in Wardha and Yavatmal districts.
“The farmers used the spray in their fields and the feedback was encouraging. In 2014, a manufacturing plant with capacity of 1500 litres per day was established at village Dhapewada in Nagpur district. The experiments carried out at various places resulted in boosting the yield by 20% and farmers earned annual profit of Rs 7-8 lakh,” Dr Kale says.
He said that the product developed by MGIRI is not only effective, but also highly economical. “Similar products available in market cost Rs 700 per litre, whereas our product costs just Rs 200 per litre. This will end monopoly of multinational companies (MNCs) in this sector,” he added.
Dr Kale said, “The product was tested on several crops such as tur, soybean and others. Since it was not scientific study, we approached CICR for the same. Since it is our research and development, we have also filed for its patent.”
CICR then conducted a few experiments in replicated trials in three fields of 30 sq metre each.
Dr Keshav Kranthi, director, CICR, Nagpur said, “The results are highly promising. However, the product needs multi-location testing, since we have tested it in our laboratories and fields.”
“The crop needs to be sprayed during flowering season. It helps in improving the retention of bolls in the plant,” Dr Kranthi said.