India burns 80 million tonnes of crop residue every year which releases 150 Million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. These residues are used as fodder for animals, composting and domestic or industrial fuel. A large amount of unused residue is burnt to prepare for the next sowing season. The high cost of residue removal due to non-availability of labor and expensive machinery are the primary reasons for crop burning and it takes one rupee for a matchbox to clear the fields in a short time. Furthermore, the burning of crop residue releases greenhouse gases and affects human health leading to respiratory ailments. Repeated burning leads to depletion of microbial activity and leads to loss of nutrients. Farmers and policymakers are well aware of the consequences of crop burning. However, increased mechanization, use of combine harvesters, decline in livestock, long duration required for composting and unavailability of other economically viable solutions leads farmers to crop burning.
Mr. Shubham Singh has come out with the solution which is a highly durable, environmental friendly, cost-effective, wood equivalent, crop residue derived straw panel. For each panel of 8ftx4ft size and 18 mm thickness, we expect to reduce 30 kg of CO2 emissions. In order to have crop residues not to be burned, a value needs to be added to them. By making them a new starting point for a value chain in the material industry, farmers will have an interest in selling the crop residues. They are addressing the problem, therefore by enabling this value chain with bringing an innovation of a new bio-renewable adhesive, that can turn crop residues into valuable material.
Scalability and Impact:
They wish to set up decentralized particleboard plants with a capacity of 1000 tonnes per annum. With each plant, they will be able to provide secondary income to farmers, equivalent to 80,000 $. This will generate 40,000 boards which will reduce 1460 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere which otherwise would have been burnt. They will set up these plants on a franchise basis which will lead to the creation of village-level entrepreneurs. The particleboards can be used for the construction of low-cost housing in rural parts of India and thus giving a path to a circular economy that demonstrates how waste can be valuable. Further, they are using formaldehyde-free adhesive in our boards for creating healthier environments.
Funding Customer Validation Scale up
Awards and Recognition:
Top 500 Global Startups by Hello Tomorrow BIRAC SOCH Innovation Challenge Award Finalist for Agricultural Grand Challenge Runner up at Ipreneur 2017 organized by TISS, Mumabi Top 10 Finalist for Academia-Industry Training Programme organised by Swissnex and SINE IIT, Bombay Winner, Rural Category at National Conference on Social Innovation Selected for 100+remote accelerator by AbinBev