Lonely Planet Writer

Waste not, want not: India's excrement industry

Civet coffee beans extracted from the excrement of the eponymous cats.
Civet coffee beans extracted from the excrement of the eponymous cats. Image by shankar s. / CC BY 2.0

A new generation of Indian businessmen are turning excrement into gold, making millions from such unlikely-sounding products as elephant dung paper and Kopi Luwak coffee. Karnataka is the centre of India’s civet coffee business, where wild civet cats are allowed to eat the coffee beans, which are then extracted from their droppings and sold for upwards of Rs15,000 (US$245) per kilo. Across the country in Assam, paper made from rhino and elephant dung is big business, worth millions of rupees a year. Read more: timesofindia.indiatimes.com