Agriculture Minister's appeal: Urinate at multiplex, help farmers
State Agriculture Minister Eknath Khadse's peculiar plan for an organic farming policy involves transporting urine from cinema halls, “where it can be collected in bulk”, to farmers in rural areas
The state government is looking at you, the city dweller, to help farmers in rural areas. The Maharashtra government is working on preparing a new policy on organic farming, which will include the usage of human urine along with cow dung and urine to prepare fertilisers to be used in rural farms.
Eknath Khadse hopes that use of urine will make farming land fertile
The human urine, according to Agriculture Minister Eknath Khadse, could be sourced from multiplexes in Mumbai, where it is found in abundance at intervals of cinema screenings. Only recently, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had revealed that he urinated on the plants in his garden to make them grow bigger and that he stored his urine in a 50-litre can for the purpose.
Gadkari’s 2, Motilal Nehru Marg bungalow is just across the road from 10, Janpath, the residence of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. Taking a cue from his party colleague, Khadse said human urine could be used to make land more fertile in rural areas and villages.
The state organic policy will give subsidies to farmers for building cowsheds, collecting human urine, cow urine and dung and then converting them into fertilisers. Pic for representation/Thinkstock
He added that human urine needed for implementation of this massive project could be collected from cinema theatres in Mumbai, where people, in large numbers, relieve themselves during the interval. “We can collect this urine in bulk and then transport it for use for the purpose of farming in rural areas,” the minister said.
Khadse claimed an experiment on the same lines had been carried out at Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, an agricultural university in Rahuri town of Ahmednagar district, at the government’s behest. “They have been successful in it. It works,” he added.
The state policy, which is in the pipeline, will declare a 35 per cent subsidy to farmers who will opt for this method of organic farming over the use of conventional fertilisers. The policy will also give subsidies to farmers for building cowsheds and collecting human urine, cow urine, dung and converting them into fertilisers.
The farmers will be encouraged to reuse waste from farms, wasted and destroyed crops, and everything else that would help in composting. The government 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. The resultant fertiliser can then be shared among the stakeholders.
Khadse said the government’s endorsement of organic farming and use of human urine as part of this policy is not new, but repeated experiments by state universities have confirmed that the use of traditional fertilisers is making land in rural area less fertile day by day, but that cow urine 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.
Khadse said the policy would subsequently be implemented across the state. It has to be introduced in the state Cabinet first, from where it will go to the two houses for approval and only later be deemed official.