Now, Maharashtra govt plans to encourage urine use in organic farming

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 09, 2015 11:00 IST

Taking a cue from Union minister Nitin Gadkari’s advice that urine should be used as fertliser to grow bigger plants, the Maharashtra government is drawing up plans to use urine collected from multiplexes for organic farming.

As part of a proposed policy on organic farming, the state government intends to use human urine with cow dung and urine to make fertilisers.

State agriculture minister Eknath Khadse has said the human urine could be sourced from multiplexes in Mumbai, “where it is found in abundance at intervals of cinema screenings”, the Mid-Day reported.

Human urine can be used to make land more fertile in rural areas and villages, Khadse said. He noted that people in large numbers relieve themselves during the interval of film screenings.

“We can collect this urine in bulk and then transport it for use for the purpose of farming in rural areas,” he said.

Gadkari had recently become the butt of jokes on social media after he said at an event in Nagpur earlier this week that he collected his urine in a 50-litre can and used it as fertiliser at his official bungalow in New Delhi. He said the plants watered with urine grew one-and-a-half bigger than others.

Khadse claimed an experiment on the same lines had been carried out at Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, an agriculture university in Ahmednagar district, at the government’s behest. “They have been successful in it. It works,” he said.

The new policy will include a 35% subsidy for farmers who opt for this method of organic farming over the use of conventional fertilisers. The policy will also give subsidies to farmers for collecting human urine and cow urine and dung and converting them into fertiliser.

The state government also plans to encourage community farming, in which a few villages can come together to take up a composting project that will include the use of human urine.

Khadse said the government’s endorsement of organic farming and use of human urine as part of this policy is not new as experiments by state universities have confirmed that the use of traditional fertilisers is making land in rural areas less fertile day by day, but that cow and human urine have helped keep land fertile for a longer period.

“There was nothing wrong in what Gadkari had said, and neither was it a revelation. The use of human urine has benefited farming, since it (urine) has more nutrients. Even our own experiments in the universities have proved the same,” he said.

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