No, it is not just a religious thing in India. Although cows are considered sacred by most of the 1 billion plus population living in India and they frequently perform religious rituals on the animal, this newfound cow dung demand has nothing to do with that. It is to do with the growing energy demand-and-supply in the swathes of rural areas where dung continues to be used as a primary source of fuel for heating and cooking. The demand has surged to a point so high that even global retailers like Amazon and eBay have jumped to the opportunity and are offering stacks of dung at competitive prices to the Indian public.
Normally made by working women of the villages, the demand for the cakes rises in winter months when the energy-starved villages of India are forced to turn to cow dung for heating and cooking. Amazon India Spokesperson Madhavi said “Cow dung cakes have been listed by multiple sellers on our platform since October and we have received several customer orders”.
It is also in high-demand during the Hindu festivals of Diwali when they conduct prayers and pooja in their homes. In many days, the entir
e stock of these retailers has been booked and shipped within a matter of hours. If carefully developed with the help of modern production technology, these dung cakes can be made to make a fortune as there continue to be an enormous demand-and-supply gap in the market. It can also be used as fertilizer as well. The patties are currently being sold in packages containing two to eight pieces. Prices range from 100-400 rupees per box or 0.7 $ per dung cake.