In what can be described as a brand new and historic idea to boost the rural economy, the Modi government is working on a brand new idea, viz. Cow-centric start-ups. Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog, formed just four months ago during the interim budget, is reportedly making efforts to make this idea work. As per Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog’s chairman Vallabh Bhai Kathuria, in order to achieve success on this front, the government seeks to encourage those entrepreneurs who are willing to set up cow-centric start-ups for the marketing of cow-based products and to adopt new technology and expertise.
The newly established Commission also seeks to support gaushalas (cow shelters). It will provide assistance to the cow shelters either in the form of technology or finance or credit facility, in order to rear cows and bring cow-based products to market. With this, it will look to meet the challenge of job creation in the rural economy. Kathuria also said that the Commission has even drawn up plans in order to ensure that there is at least one cow in every rural household. The newly formed Commission was allocated Rs. 500 crore in the interim budget, with the mandate of ensuring the primacy of cattle preservation.
The Modi government is looking at cow rearing as a means of ramping up job creation in the rural economy. As per Kathuria, with the youth migrating in large numbers to big cities in search of jobs, the Modi government wants to introduce cow rearing as a supplementary factor to agriculture in order to boost the rural economy. In order to ensure that the true potential of cow rearing is realised, the government will not only provide assistance to the entrepreneurs involved in cow rearing in the form of credit facility but also help them in marketing their products and ensuring ease of access to the marketplace.
According to the Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog chairman, the true potential of cow rearing isn’t being realised. He said that enough isn’t being done to popularise and expand new techniques like making soaps and mosquito repellent from cow urine and using cow dung in order to produce organic fertiliser and handmade paper. It must be kept in mind that currently, only some NGOs are working in the sector of marketing cow-based products. But the Commission seeks to take things onto a whole new level and introduce the start-up culture in this domain and bring in large scale marketing and distribution of cow-based products. Kathuria added that big players can also participate in this plan by setting up biogas plants which are operated on cow urine.
Cow rearing and marketing of cow-based products have immense potential. Added with the potential of biogas, this sector has what it takes to boost the rural economy. This opportunity was largely a missed one till date because the government never really tried to take it up to a whole new level. With big business houses and start-ups investing in this sector, rural economy is set for a major boost. The newly set up Commission is going to play a big role in the Modi government’s plans of using cow-centric startups to boost the rural economy.