The growth of water hyacinth, an invasive plant species in rivers and canals, poses a threat not only to the biodiversity and water quality but also to the health and livelihoods of the communities residing near these water bodies. With the ability to cover the whole globe’s fresh water bodies within 3 years, if left untreated, it challenges the ecological stability of these water bodies. Its dense mat harms aquatic life by out-competing all other species growing in the vicinity and leads to a drop in phytoplankton count, decreasing oxygen levels & depleting marine life. It happens to be one of the most noxious aquatic weeds in the world that chokes the life out of every freshwater ecosystem it manages to infest.
Project Nivaran is aimed at curbing the ecological impact caused by water hyacinth by efficiently extracting and repurposing the plant into useful by-products, thereby harnessing its considerable utility. Upon extraction, the plant is naturally dried and consequently used for the production of a bird-perching platform, sanitary napkins, handicrafts, and biochar. The communities that bear the social and environmental consequences of the invasive plant will be trained in the production of these by-products. To optimize the inherent value of water hyacinth, the project utilizes every part of the plant, making Nivaran a zero-waste initiative while reviving marine biodiversity and enhancing water quality.
Nivaran works towards the efficient extraction of water hyacinth for its conversion into creative by-products such as biochar, sanitary pads, bird-perching platforms & handicrafts, thereby maximizing its utility. It curbs the ecological impact caused by the invasive plant while uplifting & training the afflicted communities in the production process.
The promotion and sale of the multitude of products developed is done through both online and offline selling means. Various promotional strategies such as introductory discounts and free samples along with setting up of stalls at various college fests and cultural exhibitions are employed under offline marketing. To gain traction in the online market, we regularly post tailored digital content across social media platforms as an effort to connect with our customers, making it more convenient for them to choose from our range of products.
To increase awareness and boost the sales of water hyacinth-based products, we collaborated with Vayae, an existing e-commerce player in this space which in turn helped us increase our customer base.