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The Force for Rural Empowerment and Economic Development - GSBI™ Class of 2010
There are approximately 60 million hectares of wasteland in India and more than 421 million Indians below the poverty line in 8 states. The poor people do not have access to sustainable livelihoods and suffer from a social environment that worsens over time. The Indian government has mandated the use of 20% diesel mix with biofuel by 2013. To fulfill the mandate, wastelands are being made available for production of biofuel.
Established: 2007 Impact Areas: India Type: Non-Profit/NGO Sectors: Clean Tech & Energy, Economic Development
Staff Size: 7 and 2 Volunteers Annual Budget: $150,000 Major Funders: Private donations,
Awards: Somnath Pyne was se-
lected for the International Visitors Leadership Program of the Department of State, US Government
Theory of Change:
Turn Waste to Wealth by turning the wastelands in India into jatropha plantations to improve the environment and produce biofuel. Local marginalized women are employed to cultivate the land which increases their income potential and raises the standard of living.
FREED conceives, designs, and implements projects transforming wastelands into jatropha plantations that produce biofuel that replaces imported fossil fuels and qualifies for carbon credits. We do this by forming Self Help Groups that undertake cultivation and fuel extraction, providing marginal poor with income opportunities. Government agencies and corporations provide wasteland for cultivation and purchase the biofuel thus creating economic development, reducing their cost of oil consumption meeting mandates to use renewable energy.
“Through our 300 hectare unit project, FREED will provide employment for 2500 marginalized women, additional income of $486,680 and produce 306 kilolitres of biofuel in 5 years.” - Somnath Pyne, Co-Founder and CEO
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WA S T E TO W E A LT H
2008: Pilot project started with partner 2010: First project approved for implementation by the national coal company 2010: Contract with the municipality for access to land 2010: Indian railways approve project viability
Impact to Date:
• • • Pilot plantation operational with partner agency Created awareness in public and private corporations of the opportunity to convert wasteland into a resource First 300 hectare project approved for launch by major coal agency
Annual Budget vs. Ha. Under Cultivation:
2011: Expand to three states 2013: First bio-diesel will be produced (306 kiloliters) 2014: Expansion to 4 states, 5,000 Ha, and 612 kiloliter production
“The work of FREED to provide additional income and produce biofuel utilizing wasteland is changing the lives of local marginalized population.” – Ujjal Chatterjee, Chairman, Kulti Municipality, West Bengal, India
$500,000 USD of seed capital is required to develop each 300 Ha. unit project. Grants are needed to fund a unit project for which land has been allocated. Grant amounts for subsequent unit projects will be lower because earned income will be used to fund new unit projects.
This profile was developed during the 2010 Global Social Benefit Incubator™, the signature program of Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology and Society.
Updated 8/26/2010. www.scu.edu/sts/gsbi
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