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Nestlé India’s ‘Biodigester Project’ paves way for a sustainable future for dairy farmers

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New Delhi, April 2024.

Nestlé India is demonstrating its unwavering commitment towards responsible sourcing and reducing emissions from the dairy farms with the ‘Biodigester Project’. The biodigester technology transforms cattle manure into clean biogas, reducing the carbon footprint of dairyfarms. The remaining slurry is utilized as natural fertilizer, contributing to regenerative agriculture practices. As a part of this initiative, Nestlé India is in the process of installingalmost 70 large biodigesters and more than 3,000 small biodigesters in24 districtsacrossPunjab and Haryana.

Small dairy farms where manure from cattle is left exposed, become a critical source of GHG emission. Once fed in the biodigesters, the manure goes through microbial breakdown and generates biogas.The small biodigesters can produce biogas which can replace LPG and fuel wood resulting in reduced risk of smoke related health hazard for the farmers and immediate monetary benefits.Beyond these benefits, the large biodigesters are also capable of generating electricity which is 100% renewable, thus positively impacting the environment. The residual manure in the biodigesters is converted to bio fertilizerand used in the farms and kitchen gardens.

Commenting on this initiative, Mr. Sanjay Khajuria, Director, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Nestlé India said, “Nestlé India’s Biodigester Project is an example of how our efforts are aligned with India’s strategic prioritieson sustainability, optimization of resources and regenerative agriculture. Biogas generated from the Biodigesters reduces the farmers’ dependence on fossil fuelswhile the bio-fertilizers minimizes their reliance on chemical fertilizers. These savingsin turn help the farmersinvest more in their farms and their wellbeing.”

Mandeep Kaur, a dairy farmer in Jalalabad village of Moga district in Punjab said, “We are one of the first families in our village to have a biodigester at our farm. We believe it has helped us to be self-sufficient for most of our farm necessities and saved us a lot of money and effort. The bio-gas produced at our farm has made me completely independent for my cooking fuel requirement. Unlike the firewood, it does not generate any smokeand does not harm my lungs or cause irritation in my eyes.”

Nestlé India believe in a future where thriving dairy communities and a healthy planet go hand-in-hand. It has engagedalmost 80,000 dairy farmers across India to boost milk economy.Nestlé India has also encouraged dairy farmers to plant trees for carbon sequestration and provided access to low-emission feed. These efforts not only secure stable livelihoods for farmers and their families but also contribute to reduction in GHG emissions from dairy farms.

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