Finnish firm Fortum India recently signed an agreement with ChaudharyCharan Singh Haryana Agricultural University in Hisar to make textile fibre from paddy straw that is generally burnt by farmers causing air pollution in north India. The aim is to protect the environment and offer simple, economical options to farmers to manage paddy straw.

The university has been working on paddy straw management and the partnership with allow Fortum to better understand the properties of rice straw and other agri-biomass, their availability, socio-economic impact, probable supply chain and other possible areas of support in the state, an official statement said.

According to HAU vice chancellor KP Singh, the partnership will give more thrust to the university’s crop residue management program. The statement said it is noteworthy that there is a serious problem of managing paddy straw in the states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Some farmers burn crop residues and destroy them, causing environmental pollution.

Burning of crop residues on a large scale in the fields emits greenhouse gas which has huge side effects on the environment. In three states in the Delhi region, 50 million tonnes of agro-biomass is burnt every year.

Fortum intend to convert this agricultural waste into valuable products, provide solutions to reduce pollution, which will help local communities to be become self-sufficient and raise their standard of living, Sanjay Aggarwal, managing director of Fortum India Private Limited, said.