Fortum India, a Finnish clean energy company, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University (CCSHAU), Hisar, a State University with the objective to establish collaboration in research about paddy and paddy straw.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Prof. K.P. Singh, Vice Chancellor, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, by Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal, Managing Director, Fortum India Pvt. Ltd., and Dr. S.K. Sehrawat, Director of Research, CCS Haryana Agriculture University, Hisar.
CCS Haryana Agricultural University has been constantly working towards the management of paddy straw and as a first step, Fortum’s partnership with HAU will include to deepen understanding of the theoretical and practical knowledge and expertise in the areas of studying the properties of rice straw and other agri-biomass, its availability, socio economic impact, probable supply chain and other possible area of support, in Haryana.
Prof. K.P. Singh, HAU Vice Chancellor, while expressing his thoughts over the MoU, said: “This will give more thrust to the university’s crop residue management program. The university is striving not only for the proper management of crop residues but also for the fair value of everything coming out of the farm.”
“At the university, we are establishing an Innovation Centre for Agri waste Management (ICAWM). ICAWM aims to identify, synergistically develop and propagate circular economy based innovative technologies for conversion of crop residue into eco-friendly, technically efficient and economically viable bio-waste value added products. We hope together we can find holistic solutions which will help in uplifting the farmer’s lives,” he added.
It is noteworthy that there is a serious problem of managing paddy straw in Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Some farmers burn crop residues and destroy them, causing environmental pollution. To protect the environment and to provide simple and economical options for the farmers to manage paddy straw, Haryana Agricultural University is working seriously under the guidance of Prof. K.P. Singh.
Commenting on the same, Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal, Managing Director of Fortum India, said: “We are proud to collaborate with Haryana Agricultural University, one of the leading universities of the country to solve the problem of paddy straw in Haryana. Burning of crop residues on a large scale in the fields emits greenhouse gas which has huge side effects on the environment. In three States in the Delhi region, 50 million tonnes of agrobiomass is burned every year. We intend to convert this agricultural waste into valuable products, provide solutions to reduce pollution, which will help local communities to become self-sufficient and raise their standard of living.”
“We will work with the university to make textile fiber from paddy straw, as well as other valuable chemicals which are used in many industries, to make bioplastics and to establish bio-refinery in the future”, he added.
Mr. Faizur Rahman, Head, Bio2X & Legal, Fortum India, said: “Fortum has established a joint venture together with Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. (NRL) for building and operating a biorefinery in Assam, India, with an investment of Rs. 1,260 crores wherein, bioethanol, furfural, acidic acid and electricity are produced from Bamboo.”
On this occasion, the Registrar, OSD, Directors, officers and all the founders of the university were also present.