Biodiversity

Jafrabad Cement Works (JCW), an integrated cement unit of UltraTech, in Amreli, Gujarat is working with 150 marginalised smallholder farmers of Arda and Bandhapalli tribal villages in Gujarat. JCW is educating them on advanced organic farming methods that will increase their agricultural income four times over a period of five years.

The team is also helping the farmers to adopt sustainable agriculture practices like System Rice Intensification (SRI). Other agricultural techniques and methods that are imparted to the farmers include:

  • extensive training programmes for advanced farming methods
  • traditional irrigation methods for water conservation
  • access to high-yield and climate resistant seeds
  • knowledge about organic farming
  • crop demonstration sessions
  • visits by agriculture scientists
  • training for women to adopt non-farm activities for supplementary income

In order to make this initiative scalable and sustainable, we have set-up farmer clubs. These clubs are given the responsibility to spread the benefits of the initiatives to other farmers. So far, the team has set-up five farmer clubs with 142 farmer members.

As a result of the initiatives, to date, 120 small farmers with over 150 acres of land under cultivation have benefited. Farmers' yield has increased, and they have benefited with an additional earning of Rs.7,000 to Rs.9,000/- in the crop season.

Additionally, our intervention has led to the adoption of integrated vegetable cultivation (IVC) approach by 148 farmers of four villages. This has helped them to sell their produce directly in local markets. During the Rabi season, these farmers are able to earn Rs.20,000-23,000 each, with Rs.12,000-14,000 being their savings.

The other outcomes of this intervention include an increase in self-confidence of farmers, reduction in money borrowed from money lenders, improved social status, increase in the amount of bank savings, and more investment in education and health care.