India faces a serious problem in managing waste. Old fashioned and extremely inadequate facilities cannot cope with waste generation and the result is serious damage to the environment and... (Read More....)
India faces a serious problem in managing waste. Old fashioned and extremely inadequate facilities cannot cope with waste generation and the result is serious damage to the environment and public health. On the other hand, Europe has developed sophisticated methods of waste management over the last decades. However, these methods are technologically not ready for implementing the newest research results from Europe’s researchers. We aim to bring European expertise and research to India, with a specific focus on natural manure, thereby allowing Indian farmers access to high-quality, sufficient and affordable natural manure while simultaneously easing the burden of over-production of natural manure in Europe and opening up opportunities for implementing research results.
During the last year, discussions with researchers and policy makers in Belgium and India pointed out that there are potentially interesting routes for collaboration between India and Belgium in the domains of waste management and agriculture. At the moment the two most interesting strands that came to the fore are: (1) Waste management and water management in the context of ‘liveable cities’ and (2) manure management.
|Europe||· Flanders has excess manure produced in intensive livestock rearing
· High costs of waste processing
|· Experience and expertise concerning waste management, water management and manure management
· Available technologies
· Research culture
|India||· Poor cold chain
· Many challenges in food processing
· Wastage of tons and tons of food and rice
· Poor sorting and recycling systems
· Ecological consequences
· Visual impact
· Shortage of high-quality organic manure
· Outdated techniques used to process organic manure
· Poor cold chain
· Many challenges in food processing
|· Recent actions of the Indian Prime Minster generate a focus on ‘clean cities’ and waste management
· Recent actions of the Indian Prime Minster awake concerns about sorting and recycling
· Governmental willingness, also at state level, to search for appropriate solutions
What has been done and what is yet to be done?
The focus group on waste and manure management tackles the question of combining the above challenges and opportunities. In the past this focus group has had discussions with researchers at universities and institutions and policy makers in Belgium and Europe about this domain. In Karnataka we met the minister and officials of the Ministry of Agriculture. We organised an India Platform Focus Session on Waste Management in April 2014 at Ghent University.
The first step is currently being executed: gathering more information. Many questions need to be tackled and therefore a feasibility study seems necessary. Questions like: what is the wholesale price or the trade price of organic manure in India? What is the recommended price per ton (barrel) of the product? There are also questions related to the composition of the manure. How important is the source (poultry/chicken, cattle, pig, horse, sheep, etc.) of the manure and how important is the purity of the manure? How large is the need for organic manure in India? Which quantities are we talking about? Who or which instances are authorised to decide on the manure issue? Which policies exist? Are these at the national or state level?
Step 2 consists of bringing stakeholders together. Which stakeholders in India could be interested in the waste management and in the manure projects? Which stakeholders in Belgium and Europe could be interested in the waste management and in the manure projects? Who would be interested in joining a working group to look into these and related questions?
In order to assess the situation and get a better view on the problems and possibilities, a working visit is necessary (both from India to Europe and from Europe to India). Small-scale visits are preferred. The right people need to pose the right questions to get a clear vision on the opportunities and challenges related to these domains. The India Platform could facilitate and work to bring together all interested and interesting stakeholders in different sectors of society (academics and researchers, politicians, companies involved in waste management, water management and/or manure management, institutions, etc.) in India and in Europe.
Activities that we organised in this focus domain, are listed below.