Enhanced crop productivity and farm income for rice smallholders
- 140 metric tonnes of hybrid rice seeds distributed to 70,000 smallholder farmers in Jharkhand, covering 15 districts and 700 villages
- 11 local NGOs supported implementation of on-ground capacity building exercise
Ranchi, August 21, 2019: Most farmers in Jharkhand are smallholder farmers who farm on less than one acre of land. These farmers are vulnerable to challenges such as pests and crop diseases, lack of finance, adverse climate impacts, irrigation management, rural migration and fluctuating commodity prices. Because of these challenges, they are able to realize only a fraction of their potential productivity.
In Kharif 2019, Bayer conducted a three-week-long capacity building initiative in Jharkhand to introduce rice smallholder farmers to advanced agricultural technologies in the areas of seeds, crop protection, crop nutrition, soil management, drip irrigation, post-harvest management and financial literacy. Since seed is the first step in any crop cycle and is a critical enabler for farmers to improve their crop productivity, Bayer distributed 2 kg packs of hybrid rice (free of cost) per smallholder farmer to enable them to experience the yield advantage from cultivating hybrid seeds.
Bayer collaborated with 11 local NGO’s to carry out the distribution of 140 metric tonnes of hybrid rice seeds among 70,000 smallholder farmers spread across 15 districts and 700 villages in Jharkhand. Sharing her excitement, Puneet Kandir, a rice smallholder from Khunti district of Jharkhand, says, “I never had access to hybrid seeds earlier. This is the first time I have planted hybrid rice in my small farm. I am thankful to Bayer for providing me free hybrid seeds and training on how to cultivate hybrid rice. It a nice first time experience and I am looking forward to a good harvest in November.”
“Beneficiary farmers are quite encouraged seeing the higher germination rate of Bayer’s hybrid rice seeds compared to the traditional seeds they were growing. They look forward to see positive results on the harvest day. We need more such interventions to support smallhollder farmers and create access to improved seed varieties”, said Kumar Gaurav, Senior Manager, Sarva Seva Samity Sanstha, a Jharkhand based NGO that supported the Bayer initiative.
“Rice farmers in the eastern belt of India largely practice subsistence farming and suffer from drastically low yields. Affordability and lack of knowledge hinders them from cultivating hybrid seeds. We want to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers by unlocking their farming potential. Our local NGO partners have been instrumental in helping Bayer expand its reach to underserved rice smallholders. Our aim is to help smallholders achieve higher crop yields and use their farms as a source of income rather than just a means to survive,” said D. Narain, CEO & Managing Director of Bayer CropScience Limited.
Besides Jharkhand, Bayer also conducted its capacity-building exercise in Odisha and Chhattisgarh, which are an integral part of India’s rice growing belt. Around 305 metric tonnes of hybrid rice seeds were distributed among more than 1,00,000 smallholder farmers, covering over 1700 villages across the three states. 16 local NGOs supported the on-ground distribution and agronomic training provided to smallholder farmers.
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2018, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of 39.6 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.6 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.2 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.com
Communications, Bayer Group in India
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