Startups that intend to commercialise cow dung and urine are likely to soon get up to 60% of their initial funds from the government, The Times of India reported on Monday, quoting the Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog, or the national cow commission.

Commercial use of such “by-products” would encourage people not to discard cows that have stopped giving milk, the commission’s chairperson Vallabh Kathiria told the newspaper. “We will encourage youths to go for cow-based entrepreneurship and earn not only from products like milk and ghee, but also by-products like urine and dung that can be used for medicinal and agricultural purposes,” he said.

“We will also encourage research on the medicinal value of cow by-products,” Kathiria was quoted as saying. “The board will provide a platform to scholars and researchers to project their research on these by-products. We will also hold training programmes and skill development camps for people already running gaushalas.”

Kathiria has been meeting academicians and students to plan strategies to attract youths who want to be entrepreneurs with “cow-based business models”, the daily said.

The commission was set up in February for the “conservation, protection and development of cows and their progeny”. The government had said setting up the Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog would increase growth in the livestock sector, benefitting women and small and marginal farmers. The commission has been allotted a budget of Rs 500 crore this year.

Kathiria is a former Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Rajkot. In an interview to in August, he had said that he hoped to make cattle-rearing so attractive in five years that “people find a stray cow and keep it with themselves”. He had said that he wanted to encourage youngsters to have startups in the field, and the commission planned to start schemes and tax concessions for them.

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