How BCI Farmers Are Improving Their Livelihoods by Selling Crop Waste

BCI Farmer, Kodinar District, Gujarat, India. Photo: BCI/Vibhor Yadav

BCI Farmer, Kodinar District, Gujarat, India. Photo: BCI/Vibhor Yadav

Leaving crop residue (the stalks and leaves of cotton crops after harvesting) on the fields allows pests to persist into the next season. To help BCI Farmers optimise growing conditions and further improve their livelihoods, Balubhai and his fellow Somnath Farmer Producer Organisation (SFPO) leaders are helping them to sell crop residue to the cement industry for use as fuel. 

The SFPO team forged an agreement with Ambuja Cement Limited (the commercial enitity behind Ambuja Cement Foundation) to supply the crop waste, helping farmers to both achieve an extra income boost, bringing greater stability to their families, and protect their fields from pests. By selling their crop waste to Ambuja Cement Limited, BCI Farmers are also taking action to reduce the pest threat and promote healthy crops, while making a profit from materials that would otherwise go to waste. 

Since 2013, the SFPO has gathered more than 14,000 tonnes of crop waste from farmers – facilitating group collections and delivering in bulk to Ambuja Cement Limited, with SFPO members deriving the equivalent of more than 35,000,000 INR (€450,000) in extra income, shared among them.