The burning of paddy straw on rice fields causes serious environmental and public health hazards throughout India. This, yet it is the quickest and cheapest way to prepare the land for the new season. However, the currently burnt paddy straw has huge potential.
Dutch technology providers, such as Paperwise, Bio4Pack and ECOR turn the material into non-toxic, biodegradable and re-usable panels that are suitable for the packaging industry. By partnering up with Indian stakeholders, such as the Haryana Agricultural University and the Grameena Vikas Kendram Society for Rural Development – as well as SME’s and multinationals like Mars and LT Foods, they have crafted a circular value chain that creates additional income for Indian farmers, reduces air pollution and combats deforestation.
Ten circular economy frontrunners signed a Partnership Agreement in India, to create a framework for a well-organized value chain. That implies – among others – an influx of paddy straw from Indian farmers, high-end production facilities in India, a market with growing demand, a fair price for all stakeholders – and awareness of sustainable production of the paddy fields.
Thanks to MVO Nederland, all players in the value chain have been brought together – thereby supporting Dutch businesses in investing in sustainable economic growth in India. On the Indian side, the project was supported by InvestIndia, the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency that helps investors looking for investment opportunities and options in India.
Maria van der Heijden (Director MVO Nederland): “It is amazing to see that we can stimulate multinationals and SME’s to adapt to sustainable business models. These models contribute to finding solutions to societal challenges like pollution and deforestation. By creating a valuable network and partnering up with Indian stakeholders, we can create a win-win situation and speed up the transition towards a new economy.”
Marten van den Berg, Ambassador of the Netherlands in India, states: “As a European hub for Indian export, the private sector in the Netherlands feels a clear responsibility for sustainable, inclusive supply chains. With the INDUS Forum, we facilitate online and offline business-to-business matchmaking for sustainable business solutions and challenges.” Public-private partnerships that the INDUS Forum stimulates are regarded key to realizing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals: “Thanks to ECOR Technology, the financing of FMO and matching on our side with our Indian partners, we can create circular value chains together.”
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