Crop residues provide additional source of income
The Indian state of Rajasthan is one of the poorest areas of India. The majority of the population works in agriculture and animal husbandry. However, small farmers can hardly produce anything beyond what is required for mere subsistence. Mustard is the most important agricultural crop within the dry climate. Up until now, the leftover stems and shells served no purpose after being processed into mustard oil and were therefore simply burned.
Decentralized collection arrange transportation
Two biomass plants in Tonk and Ganganagar now use these crop residues to generate electricity. Since 2007, thousands of small farmers have been selling their previously worthless crop waste to the plants. There are several collection centres located within a fifty-kilometre radius of the plants so that farmers without means of transportation are able to deliver their agricultural residues easily. The farmers are paid upon delivery. The residues are transported to the factory, where the storage facilities are located. There is always a large stock of crop waste to ensure that there is always enough fuel to run the plant.
The Indian company KPTL (Kalpaturu Power Transmission Limited), which has been involved in several rural electrification projects, operates this crop residue project. The management board is deeply committed to Rajasthan, which is the company's home state. The board is particularly proud of this technology transfer to a rural area because it shows that economic development is possible in areas other than cities.
Employees from the region are trained in the commercial and technical operation of the plants. There are additional jobs in the areas of warehousing and collecting biomass.