A man from Coimbatore is earning Rs 2 lakh per month by processing coconut husks and has managed to make several landless farmers financially empowered. Want to know more? Just spare a few minutes in reading the article…
The problem and its solution
“Currently, the environmental pollution is increasing and waste management is not sufficient in agriculture. We are in need of green solutions for this problem. We use the agricultural by-products (Biomass) into value added Goods and Manure, so we can minimise the artificial and plastic materials in the environment along with increasing the farmer’s income in a sustainable way,” told Senthilkumar Palanisamy to chalgenius.com
The idea of starting a venture on agriculture waste management was conceived by 40-year old Palanisamy while he was studying sustainable development in 2010-12. It was after undergoing many studies and research in this area that he along with Priyadharsini Shanmugasundaram founded Priya Traders and Exports in February 2019. The start-up was incubated at the National Institute of Agricultural Marketing. Many countries like Philippines and Indonesia are doing a considerable amount of work in this field while some Chinese companies are trying to use processed coconut husks for making furniture in order to cut down on timbre, explained Palanisamy.
Using coconut husk
The coconut husk is categorized depending upon its texture. Firstly, the husk is chopped into smaller pieces and then compressed in several phases. The pieces are dried and sent for further processing.
Coconut husk has many uses
It is primarily used in Coir fibers, Coir pith, Husk chips and bags for soil-less agriculture. Next, it is useful in construction and packaging materials from Coir (medium density boards). It is used as Arecanut disposable plates to eliminate plastic items and for organic agriculture that provides immunity in the plant system.
Empowering the farmers
Many landless farmers get hired on a temporary basis to work on others’ fields. Not only do they receive a very low salary but their income is not regular as their work is seasonal. Some farmers sustain themselves by making handicraft items. Priya Traders and Exports has engaged more than 50 farmers. These farmers provide raw materials, particularly coconut husks from fields and many landless farmers work in the processing unit. Unlike previous times, they receive their salaries round the year.
Mushroom cultivators are a significant number of end-users along with construction and packaging sectors. “We are making many innovations in our by-products for the construction sector. The processed blocks of husks can be used as roofs of storage rooms and terraces as well as serve as good cattle-sheds. The husk slabs help in keeping an optimum temperature in the room by absorbing moisture from the atmosphere. We have around 50 customers who are very satisfied with our products. They have suggested many modifications and we are working on them,” said Palanisamy adding that though currently products are supplied only within Coimbatore.
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Priya Traders and Exports
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