Upscaling Green Livelihoods-Leaf Cup Plates

By | January 9, 2018

Acknowledgement: Upscaling Green Livelihoods-Leaf Cup Plates. My sincere thanks to my mentor Dr. Arun Chandan (Founder-ERA), Mr. Pradeep Sharma (Director-ERA), those dedicated field team members, who worked restlessly for this initiative. Last, but not the least our community stakeholders of Changar region, who adopted this initiative in a good spirit. Thanks to all, who were involved directly/ back end for the successful implementation of this initiative. This was a pilot phase intervention and still much to learn and work in this regard.

Upscaling Green Livelihoods-Leaf Cup Plates. Pattal (Leaf-Plate) making is one of the many traditional enterprises of Himachal Pradesh which are based on natural resources. Leaf plates are commonly known in the local markets as Pattal(s), which are made using leaves of three species such as Bauhinia vahlii (Taur), Ficus roxburghii (Tremal) and Shorea robusta (Sal).

Pattal making is a small Income Generating Activity (IGA) practised at household level by landless rural poor, marginal or small farmers as a livelihood option or to supplement farm income in hilly states of Himachal Pradesh.

Problems pertaining to the sustainability of this traditional practice:

  1. Traditional Pattals are hand-made and it is very time consuming process.
  2. The hand-made pattals do not have standardisation in terms of their size and quality so far.
  3. The perishability of the Taur leaves.
  4. The factory made paper plates have increasingly become a replacement for the pattals.

Technological Needs (Challenges for Upscaling):

  1. Scientific Collection of leaves
  2. Availability and Carrying Capacity of a region w.r.t taur species.
  3. Sustainable Conservation practices.
  4. Packaging & Transportation.
  5. On-line & Off-line Marketing Strategy.
  6. Branding aspects.
  7. Making a stick- free Leaf Plate (Organic-Edible Adhesives).

Priority Areas for intervention:

  1. To organize Dona-Pattal making SC/ST communities.
  2. To provide technical inputs for long-term preservation and eco-friendly production technologies.
  3. Introduction of machine to improve production, quality and marketing.
  4. To make Dona Pattal making a viable livelihood opportunity for the forest dependent communities.
  5. To promote and implement conservative techniques/ methods of TAUR among the beneficiaries.

Upscaling Green Livelihoods-Leaf Cup Plates

Expected Outcomes:

  • Socio-economic upliftment of the marginalized, neglected and poor section of the society
    • Linking the community with this green livelihood intervention will improve their present economic conditions. Moreover, institutional development and community mobilisation will play a significant in their social upliftment and enhancing their knowledge about their rights and duties.
  • Standardisation of Leaf Plate size:
    • As the conventional hand-made Leaf Plates vary in size and shape, their demand decreases significantly as compared to the factory made paper plates, this technology produces a standard size-shaped leaf plates.
    • The conventional hand-made plates are very perishable and attains dull colour, which hurdles to its market competency. By using this appropriate technology, both the durability and the natural green colour is attained for a period of 6 months. Moreover, ERA is also analysing and researching on scope for enhancing the durability of this produce for more duration through quality addition in the machine.
  • Increasing Productivity of the Dona-Pattal:
    • Another component of this technology is to enhance the productivity at a larger extent as compared to by conventional hand-making method to meet the market demand in a time-effective manner with less man-power use.
  • Improving Market Linkage and Branding aspects:
    • Focused approach towards Branding of the project will be focused upon during the project cycle. Efforts towards linking these products through Marketing Strategies and tools will be made.

Upscaling Green Livelihoods-Leaf Cup Plates


9 thoughts on “Upscaling Green Livelihoods-Leaf Cup Plates

  1. sammu sai

    डोना पत्तल नाम सुनते ही दो चीजें मेरे ध्यान में आती है एक उत्सव त्योहार दूसरा इन्हें बनाने वाले ।बहुत हैरानी होती है जो इन्हें बनाते हैं उनके पास इतनी जानकारी नहीं है कि इसी काम को कम समय में अच्छी गुणवत्ता वाले उत्पाद (डोना -पत्तल )बना सकते हैं ।इस दिशा में इरा के काम बहुत प्रशंसनीय हैं जिसने डोना पत्तल बनाने वाले गरीब समुदायों को उत्पाद सुधार व नई तकनीक की जानकारी दी है व दे रहे हैं ।समय के साथ बदलाव जरूरी है नहीं तो पेपर पलेटस(paper plates) गरीब समुदाय के डोना पत्तल के साथ पारम्परिक हरियाली को भी खत्म कर देगी ।

    1. Amit Mehta Post author

      Thanks Dear Sammu Sai. I agree with you completely. Now it is high time to put serious efforts towards upscaling of this Traditional practice for generating considerable income for our producer communities.

  2. Shashi Pal Sharma

    Excellent Amit ji, it is a good initiative for bringing society close to the technology and reap it’s benefits.

    1. Amit Mehta Post author

      Thanks a lot Sir. At this time of rapid technological advancement, this traditional practice of Leaf Cup-Plate Making is striving for upscaling in a sustainable manner. Thanks again for your kind words. 🙂

  3. Dr Arun Chandan

    Good! Please acknowledge the idea and people who had been instrumental in doing this in HP and highlight the technological needs

    1. Amit Mehta Post author

      Thanks Sir for your kind words. I am proud to say that I have been part of a real grass root level organisation (Society for Environmental & Rural Awakening-ERA), who had pioneered this initiative in Himachal Pradesh.

  4. Gaurav Shekhawat

    Huge respect for this move sir!
    I have requirements for such leaf plates.
    You may get back to me on my email or via call!
    I have given my contact details in the mandataory fields!

  5. Hiten

    Great initiative. I remember those days when I used to visit my maternal grandparents in Himachal and we used to eat in pattals all the times especially dham. After many years, they started to use steel plates but I never enjoyed with them and always asked for pattals but with changing times, pattals literally disappeared. Can you please let me know from where I can buy them. I again want to starting using them replacing metal plates.


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