The One day National Conference on “Value Addition to Crop Residues of Natural Fibres” was jointly organized by ICAR-Central Institute for Research on Cotton Technology, and Indian Fibre Society, Mumbai on 4th December, 2019 at ICAR-CIRCOT, Mumbai.
At the outset Dr. Sujata Saxena, Director In-charge, ICAR-CIRCOT welcomed the delegates & Other dignitaries, Dr. R.P.Nachane, President IFS in his speech, briefed about the activities of the Indian Fibre Society and the relevance of the conference in the present context. Shri Suresh Kotak, Chairman Kotak & Co Pvt. Ltd was the Chief Guest of the inaugural function and Dr. B.M. Khadi, former Director, ICAR-CICR was the Guest of Honour.
Dr. B. M. Khadi, in his address emphasized the importance of cost benefit analysis in biomass utilization. He also narrated that the entrepreneurs & Start-ups who were attending this conference are lively example for underlying importance and business potential of the sector. Shri. Suresh Kotak, in his chief guest address, highlighted the gravity of the situation and need for effective utilization of the biomass generated in agricultural production system. He expressed his utmost satisfaction about the works being carried out at ICAR-CIRCOT since last 2 – 3 decades on value addition to the biomass.
There were three technical sessions with 20 presentations from researchers, scientist and entrepreneurs & start-ups. The first technical session had presentations from young entrepreneurs, start-ups and incubatees, who are involved in the business domain based on value addition to crop residues of cotton, banana and rice husk etc. The other two technical sessions were based on research work in the value addition to the crop residues, one exclusively devoted to the cotton stalks and its application and the other technical session covered valorization of other natural fibres viz., jute, banana, kenaf, arecanut husk, and their industrial and textiles applications.
The conference after the due deliberation came out with the following recommendations: The researchers should ensure that the value addition should be economically sound and the developed product should be competent with the existing substitutes. It was also suggested that the overall benefit attributed to the environment through the biomass utilization should also be considered while computing the cost and benefit. There should be appropriate policy support for the promotion of the value added products developed from the crop residues (renewable resources) so as to create adequate demand in short term to nurture the sector. The policy initiative to promote the start-ups and entrepreneurship by creating apt environment for sustenance of the biomass value chain is the need of the hour, which can address the issues of employment generation, rural industrialization and additional income to the farmers.