Cooking by using dung cake or fire wood in rural areas has been a major reason of respiratory diseases among women folk. It is estimated that one time cooking emits smoke equivalent to 200 cigarettes and one tone of cow dung burning emits 1101 Kg of CO2-C. Fire wood collected by women from nearby forest or dung cake made by women is treated as zero cost alternatives as very little economic value is put to women’s labour used in this activity. This social mindset and lack of any better alternative has exposed our rural women folk to noxious gases and consequent health hazards. These activities also affect global warming and air pollution as they emit collectively significant amount of smoke and carbon dioxide. To mitigate this problem, Hon’ble Prime Minister launched PM Ujjawala Yojna on 1st May, 2016 to provide free LPG connection to women below poverty line and till now about 80 million families have been given LPG connection. However, the refilling has remained poor ranging from 26 to 70% across different states. Thus, a unique solution of sustainable nature was conceptualized to achieve the four objectives: (i) Rural sanitation by collecting household waste from door to door; (ii) Economic utilization of agro waste viz., crop waste, water hyacinth, etc; (iii) Monetizing cow dung to pay for LPG refilling, and (iv) Creating employment opportunities at village itself. The concept is described in following figure-1, which involved collection of cow dung and agro waste, converting it to vermicompost, selling it and refilling LPG cylinder (once is two month) from this money obtained from selling of vermicompost to families contributing 20 kg cow dung.
Each unit of 250 tonnes of vermicompost annual production capacity is designed for 100 farm families will generate revenue of Rs.15lakhs. To provide similar facilities for 2 crores farm families of Bihar, we will need 2 lakhs units. With five manpower of each unit being paid Rs.5 lakhs per annum, and cost of cylinder and others contingent expenditure will cost of another Rs. 6 lakhs. Thus, a total annual expenditure will be Rs.11 lakhs giving a net annual profit of Rs. 4 lakhs. If the Sukhet Model is up scaled toentire Bihar, for 2 lakhs unit the net profit will be Rs.8000 crores, the annual wages creation will be Rs. 18000 crores. Besides this about 1.75 Million (N+ P2O5 +K2O) nutrients could be saved worth of Rs 4394.4 crores. The approximate vermicompost generated would be about 50 million tons per year that would save about 1.67 million tons of urea nitrogen, 2.5 million tons of single supper phosphate (SSP) and 0.72 million tons of muriate of potash.
How to execute it at national level?
For its execution, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) can be created at Panchyat level which will have subsidiaries each dealing with 100 farm families. The District Administration will be major shareholder (60%), followed by District Agricultural Department (20%) and Gram Panchyat (20%). Gram Panchyat will contribute in the form of land purchase and supply of agro-waste. All functions of this model will be implemented with the leadership of district magistrate. As the establishment cost of one unit is about 20.0lakh hence each functionaries should have their own role towards its execution. Gram Panchyat will be responsible to contribute 20% of the capital cost (Rs. 4.0lakh) in the form of land availability and uninterrupted right of supply of agro-waste on community basis whereas SDM/ADM who is responsible for executing MGNAREGA will be requested to manage the 40 % of capital cost (Rs. 08.00 lakh) required for construction of Vermicomposting Yard, Garbage Yard, purchase of shredder cutter and other required machinery. District administration will provide 20% (Rs. 4.0lakh) for the purchase of E- rickshaw, dustbin, hand cart and other machine required for households and other waste collection and processing from Swachhata Mission programme and District Agricultural Officer will provide remaining 20% (Rs. 4.0lakh) from the promotion of organic farming in concerned district. Head of KVK of the district is responsible for Technology dissemination and popularization of SUKHET Model. A local graduate can be appointed as CEO of this company, a paid employee @ Rs15000-20000 per month, who will look after all operations, execution and management of accounts. Construction cost can be done by District Administration Rural Development Wing using
MGNREGA funds. The regular manpower can be paid wages from MGNREGA funds during gestation period (about 6-8 months). One unit should be created for each 100 farm families who are willing to associate in this model and provide the raw materials to the Model Unit. The vermicompost product should be sold to local farmers and the company should get the price of Rs.6/- per kg i.e., 6000 per tonne. However, government may decide to subsidize it as per subsidy norms of fertilizers. Most of the state government are subsidizing for organic farming. This subsidy can be in the form of supply of vermicompost manufactured by these units. In Bihar, government is giving Rs.11500/- per acre cash subsidy for organic farming in organic corridor along with river Ganga. A part of it can be channelized through purchase of vermicompost from these units. Moreover, the shareholders will get share in profit in the form of dividend/share. Every unit will maintain a separate bank account to make a profitable business.
The system thus created will maintain rural sanitations; create sustainable system for refilling LPG gas and thus eliminating subsidy component, providing employment to 5 people per unit and above all a boost to organic farming and soil health restoration. This will fulfill the objectives of Swachhata Abhiyan, PM Ujjawala Yojna, MGNREGA and National Mission on Organic Farming as well as National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture. The employment generation per unit investment per five lakh will be highest for any other activities either of unorganized or organized sector.