By Anuradha Dutta, Kolkata, Feb 27 IBNS | 6 months ago

Solidaridad, an international network organisation and Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF) together launched a water linked sustainable supply-chain intervention that is expected to save approximately one trillion liters of water through sustainable agriculture, here on Tuesday.


Explaining the reason behind targeting India and other south-east Asian countries as their area of operation, Shatadru Chattopadhyay , Managing Director of Solidaridad Network Asia said,"The concept that the southern part of the world is the producer of sustainable eco-friendly products and the northern part is the consumer does not hold good anymore."

"Now, India, China and Indonesia are the biggest consumers as well as biggest producers of fruits, soya and tea, while Europe accounts only 10 percent to 15 percent of the market share. Therefore, we decided to target those countries which require more food, feed, fiber and fuel, but are water stressed," he said.

The programme will encompass 38 districts across Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Odisha, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Rajasthan and West Bengal and cover 677880 hectares of land.

The company will implement its sustainable farming programmes in the major crops like sugarcane,cotton and tea in India.

Shatadru Chattopadhyay said sustainable agriculture can make India ready to feed its population comfortably when its population 1.6 billion in 2050.

"75% of the additional food we need over the next decade could be met by bringing the production levels of India's low yield farmers up to 80% of what high yield farmers get from comparable land," Chattopadhyay said.

Solidaridad is looking to address West Bengal's dairy sector by next year.

"Solidaridad will provide its expertise at every level of supply chain, right from farming to marketing the produce by supporting producers in certification processes, market accesses and developing sustainable crop production, "Chattopadhyay said.

The HUF and Solidaridad partnership plans to enthuse businesses to invest on issues like water management in societies they operate.

EID Parry and Rajashree Sugars, stakeholders from the sugar sector and Ruchi Soya Industries Limited producers of Soya food products are already supporting the initiative, said Shatadru Chattopadhyay.

The programme will also draw in local NGOs and other institutions to ensure better collaboration with the farmers.

Solidaridad and HUF will spend Rs 20 crore and Rs 7 crore respectively in the programme, officials said.

(Posted on 27-02-2014)


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