Fleming College Heads to Enactus Canada National Competition
Peterborough, ON – (March 22, 2023) – A team of Fleming College students will be competing against some of the top minds in Canada during the Enactus Canada National Exhibition in May.
Enactus Canada brings together some of Canada’s best and brightest students, challenging them to use business models to address some of our most pressing social and environmental issues.
During the regional competition earlier this month, Fleming beat teams from Ontario and Quebec-including three teams which had previously won the national competition.
Enactus projects must address at least one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Fleming’s project, “Paddy Waste to Income,” won their league in both the Scotiabank Climate Action Challenge and TD Entrepreneurship Challenge.
“Paddy Waste to Income” put Fleming students in touch with small farmers in the Punjab region of India.
In that region most local farmers own one to three acres of land, producing anywhere from three to 10 tons of paddy waste. Paddy waste is a term used describe what is left behind in a field after certain grains are harvested, like stalks and husks.
Large farming operators use bailing machinery or hire a truck to get rid of their paddy waste or work with government or institutional buyers to sell it. But small farming operations can neither afford to hire machinery or lack the contacts to sell the waste. Therefore, most farmers burn the waste, creating air pollution and squandering a valuable organic resource.
In September 2022, 21 farmers from 12 communities in Punjab and Uttarakhand signed up to work with Fleming College, agreeing not to burn their paddy waste. Working with local NGOs, community leaders and farmers, Fleming College students and faculty helped small farming communities access equipment and market contacts while helping them create the logistical support to collect, bail, store, and transport paddy waste.
Through this project, it is estimated that 99 tons of paddy waste from 99 acres of land were diverted elsewhere:
• 59 tons were used to feed cattle.
• 30 tones were used to shelter crops.
• 10 tones were used in dairy farms as bedding to keep animals warm, saving farmers an estimated $17,000 CAD.
The student team estimates that carbon dioxide emissions in those regions were reduced by 143.5 tons.
Not only did this project have a positive economic impact on the 21 farmers and their families, but it had an indirect impact on 670 people in 133 homes in nearby communities.
Fleming students are now taking this project to the Enactus National Exhibition in Montreal in May. This is the first time a team from Fleming has qualified to compete for the National Champion title.
The winner of the national competition will go on to represent Canada at the Enactus World Cup in the Netherlands in the fall.
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