INDUS: In search of partners for the business case of paddy straw

How can we develop a sustainable business case for quality reuse of paddy straw?
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INDUS: In search of partners for the business case of paddy straw

INDUS set up a new platform for sustainable match-making, focused on the impact of the burning paddy(/rice) straw in India: How can we develop sustainable business cases for quality reuse of straw, that meets the financial challenges of farmers and the urgent environmental and health issues concerned with it?


INDUS is the Indo-Dutch sustainability match-making platform, aiming to bring together sustainable businesses in India and the Netherlands. The platform lays the focus on connections and innovation, by working from challenges to solutions. The goal of our online ( and offline entrepreneurial network, is to improve sustainable and inclusive innovations, thus enhancing futureproof trade relations.

Indus Forum is the result of a collaboration between MVO Nederland, the Dutch Embassy in India, Indian Centre for Responsible Business, Indian Institute for Corporate Affairs, TERI, Biosfera and CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development.

Our first challenge

One of the current INDUS projects concerns the impact of paddy straw on health and the environment. We are looking for “the business case of paddy straw”. The Indian agricultural sector annually produces 22 million m3 of paddy straw as a byproduct. Right now, most of the paddy straw is burnt directly on the fields, which is one of the lead causes of smog in the area. How can we develop a sustainable business case for high- end re-use of paddy straw that both meets the financial challenges of the farmers, as well as the urgent environmental and health issues corned with it? Read more about the paddy straw challenges in the links at the bottom of this item.

What is a good business case?

A good business case is created by upcycling paddy straw several times and overcoming the challenges of transportation and storage. Some of the possibilities for paddy straw are:

  • Community-level bioenergy production;
  • Bio-materials (e.g. board and packaging materials);
  • Bio-fiber composites (e.g. for food processing or industrial design).

Looking for stakeholders!

To develop this business case, we need four types of stakeholders:

  • Experts: for research and (technical) expertise (e.g. Wageningen University, TNO);
  • Companies: that are capable of up-cycling waste to quality products (e.g. DSM, Ecor);
  • Funding: to finance of the feasibility study as the first step and scaling of production (e.g. RvO, Rabobank Foundation, FMO);
  • Market: of buyers that play the key role in having a building a healthy business case (e.g. IKEA, Jubilant Food, Unilever).

Can you deliver a meaningful contribution to this challenge, or do you know parties that have the expertise? Please email Mike van den Hof: for more information.

Biomass for All: Help creating energy solutions for rural communities from paddy/rice straw

Biomass for All: Share your ideas for bio-based materials out of paddy/rice straw

Biomass for All: bio-fibre composites out of paddy/rice straw

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