Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dried Cow dung patties used as a fuel and manure by poor

Dried cow-dung ready for use


“Dried Cow dung patties used as a fuel and manure by poor” said by T.Vanitha, coordinator of a Trichy based NGO, SEVAI while addressing in a seminar on eco-friendly energy applications recently in Trichy. T.Vanitha further said that several members of SHGs of SEVAI have undertaken drying of cow dung and marketing as a decent income generation activity in Rural Trichy District. T.Vanitha added, “Cow dung patties made by SEVAI self help village women groups are used as a fuel while cooking when wood is scarce. Cow dung is dried and shaped into patties which are then burnt to produce heat. In many parts of Tamilnadu, caked and dried cow dung is used as fuel. Dung may also be collected and used to produce biogas to generate heat. One of the wonderful things about cow dung is that it is dried and used as fuel for cooking. Cows eat a variety of leaves, grass, grains, and so on, and chew everything thoroughly hence, their gober is composed of many combustible fibers. The cowherd men and women knead the gober into melon-size balls and stick them on the wall to dry in the sun. In good weather they dry in 3-4 days and are then collected and stored near the kitchen to provide fuel for cooking. Cow manure is an excellent alternative to chemical-based fertilizers and is used in food crops and vegetable gardens. Cow dung is the undigested residue of plant matter which has passed through the animal's gut. Cow dung, usually combined with soiled bedding and urine, is often used; cow dung can dry out and remain on the pasture, creating an area of grazing land which is unpalatable to livestock. Fresh manures from cattle and other ruminant animals, goats and sheep amongst the most common, contain cellulose decomposing bacteria along with active digestive enzymes. These enzymes contribute to faster heating of the manure which accelerates the decomposition of organic materials by the soil microorganisms. The end result of better decomposition of organic material is faster nutrient release to the plant. While cow manure is excellent for growing vegetables it is not recommended to use fresh manure directly on the growing area because they will burn tender plant roots. It should instead be either, applied to an area for future use as sheet compost, dug into the garden and allowed to age for at least 30 days and composted in a conventional compost heap. Many women SEVAI Self Help Group members as gardeners find that dried cow manure is better than fresh manure for several reasons as it's easier to apply dried manure since all they have to do is spread it and the manure that is no longer sticky also produces less odor”. -Govin

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