agro industrial systems

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Information about agro industrial systems

Published on January 12, 2008

Author: Paolina


Industrial Ecology & Agro-Industrial Policy:  Industrial Ecology & Agro-Industrial Policy Study of Agro-Industrial Systems - India January 2006 Summary Presentation Importance:  Importance The large population growth and growing affluence makes it important for the country to optimize resource use Agriculture is the largest consumer of key resources (land, water and energy) in India Over 90 % of the fresh water drawals in India are used for agriculture Nearly 50 % of the electrical energy is used in this sector, mostly for pumping water There is a growing shortage of fresh water in most parts of the country The country will have to re-evaluate agricultural practices to manage resources better Industrial Ecology Approach:  Industrial Ecology Approach To understand flows of materials and energy through identified systems and to consider options to optimize their use Aim of the Study:  Aim of the Study To understand the resource* flows through three selected agro-industrial systems and to consider implications for policy Rice Sugarcane Cotton * Resources refer to material and energy resources Slide5:  Cultivation Product Manufacturing Post Harvest Processing On Field Processing Waste To Environment Waste to Reuse Waste to Re-Cycle Resource Resource Resource Resource Finished Product 4 Finished Product 3 Finished Product 2 Finished Product 1 Transportation Scope System Definition:  System Definition The study area was the state of Karnataka in the south of India The system identified was the cultivation and processing of rice, sugarcane and cotton in the state. System boundaries are detailed with resource flow results Slide7:  Nearly 13 million people (55% of workers) in the state are engaged directly in agriculture and allied activities Land holding very fragmented – 73 % of the farmers own less than 2 hectares Very little mechanization – one tractor per 110 hectares Extreme shortage of electrical energy Energy supplied nearly free to farmers for pumping water Ground water table is rapidly declining due to over-exploitation The Local Context Resource Consumption Patterns:  Resource Consumption Patterns Over 90 % of the fresh water drawn is used for agriculture Agriculture is a very large consumer of electrical energy Un-metered agricultural pump sets are reported to be partly responsible for the large t & d losses Electrical Energy Consumption Karnataka The Issue of Water:  The Issue of Water River Cauvery, originates in Karnataka River Krishna passes through the northern part of the state In recent years, with the growth in population and with the increase of irrigation facilities, water is often short Rapid growth in irrigation facilities A majority of the population survives on untreated ground water A Typical Irrigation Canal The Rice System:  The Rice System Consists of : Cultivation Milling Rice Bran Oil Extraction Resource Flows Rice:  Resource Flows Rice Huge consumption of water - water used in rice cultivation alone is about a 100 times the water used in Bangalore, a city of 7 million people Per hectare consumption of water is much higher than in many other parts of the world Systems are available to drastically reduce water consumption Huge quantities of straw are available whose re-use pattern is not known The Sugarcane System:  The Sugarcane System Consists of: Cultivation of sugarcane Manufacture of sugar Ethyl alcohol production from molasses (distillery) Paper making from bagasse (waste from sugar production) Resource Flows - Sugarcane:  Resource Flows - Sugarcane Only a part (35% of the sugarcane) is used to manufacture sugar An equal part is used in making gur (or jaggery), a local sweetener. The balance is used directly or leaves the state Although sugar production yields better value addition, by better by-product recovery, gur production is a major source of rural employment A large quantity of sugarcane leaves are burnt on the fields. The energy potential could be leveraged Bagasse, the waste after sugar production used for paper making Molasses, a sugar production residue used in distilleries to manufacture ethyl alcohol Note The Cotton System:  The Cotton System Consists of: Cultivation Cotton Ginning Cotton seed oil extraction Resource Flows - Cotton:  Resource Flows - Cotton Cotton is a major user of pesticide. Nearly 50 % of all the pesticides in India are used for the cotton crop The use of labor is much higher in the case of hybrid varieties of cotton The seeds are used for making edible oil. The matter left over after oil extraction is used as cattle feed The pattern of use of the stalk and the seed hull are not known Some Comparisons:  Some Comparisons US $ 1 = 45 Ind. Rs. Significance for Policy :  Significance for Policy Resource flows analyses provide a numerical basis to frame policy Such analyses help set clear and logical priorities for action An analysis of an agro-industrial system as an integral whole could lead to new policy directions Possible New Policy Directions :  Possible New Policy Directions Identify wastes in the whole system and plan for better utilization Encourage the development of the system that gives the most returns to society per unit resource by: Improving yield per unit resource use Upgrading the varieties to give the farmer a better return Developing a program to reduce the consumption of resources per unit production, e.g. get the same yield per hectare with less water. Set up industries to use the products or the wastes to add value to the system. Cont… Possible New Policy Directions:  Possible New Policy Directions Identify the critical resources that are scarce in the region and aim to get the most societal benefits per unit resource Discourage or replace the system that is likely to endanger the availability of key resources for the community in the future Encourage the development of activities that are most suited to the local availability of resources Monitor the use of chemicals and their path to the groundwater Evaluate the technical, economic and cultural feasibility of organic cultivation practices Policy Implications– Rice:  Policy Implications– Rice The water consumption in the cultivation of rice is often twice as high compared to other places in the world. A monitoring system has to be put in place Specific policies and programs are needed to reduce the consumption of the water and electrical energy in the system This should be a major priority program Cont….. Policy Implications – Rice:  Policy Implications – Rice The enormous quantities of straw and husk that are “wasted” or badly used need to be studied in greater detail to better leverage its use either as an energy source or otherwise. This will improve the output value of the system. This need do be done taking care that local practices and cultures are not disturbed. Efforts should be made to develop equipment and systems that can generate the best energy value from combustion of the straw or husk The use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers by farmers should be carefully monitored to prevent pollution of the ground water Well directed efforts are required to leverage the bio-gas potential from the huge cattle population Policy Implication - Sugarcane:  Policy Implication - Sugarcane Technology upgradation for the production of gur should be taken up to improve hygiene & productivity Specific policies and programs are needed to reduce the consumption of the water and electrical energy in the system The use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers by farmers should be carefully monitored to prevent pollution of the ground water Well directed efforts are required to leverage the bio-gas potential from the huge cattle population Policy Implications - Cotton:  Policy Implications - Cotton The use of pesticides and their impact on the groundwater should be very carefully monitored The social impacts of use of child labor should be minimized The wastes in the system should be leveraged The value of the output should be increased Energy:  Energy It is imperative for the state to use policy to reduce the use of electrical energy in agriculture, as agriculture is the single largest user group for electrical energy in India Other than striving to reduce the use of water, active measures need to be undertaken to promote the use of other energy sources for pumping water, such as solar energy or bio-gas Transportation/ Mechanization:  Transportation/ Mechanization It is estimated that at the present over 38 million liters of diesel are used annually for transporting the harvested produce in all the 3 systems studied With greater use of motorized vehicles, the demand for diesel for working the land and for transportation will grow Policy makers need to be conscious of a possible spurt in the demand for fuel with more use of machines in farming and aim to improve productivity of fuel use The use of quantitative data generated through such studies need to be read along with a number of qualitative issues….:  The use of quantitative data generated through such studies need to be read along with a number of qualitative issues…. Such as…..:  Such as….. Food security of the state/country Impacts on the health of local populations Environmental considerations – impacts on land and water resources Social issues – for example, child labor, local cultures etc Acknowledgement:  Acknowledgement The project team consisting of Ramesh Ramaswamy, Ganesh Naik, Prakash Gouda, Jagdeesh Patil and Latha Gowda would like to acknowledge the help and support of Marcos Sanjuan and Jayanthi of the ROI. The team would also like to place on record the support of Dr. T.N.Prakash and his team at the Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore for the cooperation extended to the team The ROI is extremely grateful to the State and Canton of Geneva, the Association FIDEST (Formation and Information on Development, Environment, Science and Technology), in Geneva and the Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer pour le progrès de l'Homme (FPH), in Paris for jointly funding the study Thank you for your attention:  Thank you for your attention More information and sources for data are available in a detailed report, which may be made available subject to permission from the funding agencies Contact:, web:

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