A blog about the latest developments in the food technology sector.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
FARM WASTE MANAGEMENT-RISKS AND BENEFITS
In a country like India large dairy farms with more than 1000 cows are far and few and many such farms have facilities to generate gobar gas for use as an energy source. The residue remaining after digestion is not supposed to emanate any foul odor to contaminate the environment. But in western countries where large mechanized farms operate producing large volume of wastes. its management is arduous and risky. A typical cow of good breed can generate about 20-25 tons of waste out of which two third is cow dung, balance being the urine. If such huge quantities of waste are not managed properly it can have serious repercussions for the environment and the food chain.
"But as the increasing incidence of environmental and health problems linked to agriculture makes clear, when manure is mismanaged the nutrients in it can foul streams, lakes and aquifers; the pathogens in it can contaminate food products; and the gases it produces, including ammonia, methane and bad-smelling volatile compounds, can upset neighbors and pollute the atmosphere".
India is fortunate in having smaller dairy farms where gobar gas plants invariably process the waste into useful fuel and safe manure. Centuries of tradition in India has established the benefits of integrated farming and there is hardly any safety issue involved in the operation of such farms. How ever pig farms and poultry farms are great polluters and