14 January 2022, New Delhi: The founding members of the Pragati project for sustainable castor crop – Arkema, BASF, Jayant Agro-Organics along with implementation partner Solidaridad – finalized and published the final audited and certified results of the fifth year of their program.
In December 2021, the members updated the impacts of the program so far:
- Over 5,800 farmers have been trained, audited, and certified in total – an increase of 27% in program year 5 compared to the year before
- 36,000 tons of certified castor seed has been cultivated – an increase of 50% in program year 5 compared to the previous year
- Yield has improved over 35% versus comparable yield published by local government in the region for 2020-2021
- Over 13,300 hectares are now being farmed in accordance with the SuCCESS sustainable castor code (see www.castorsuccess.org)
- Approx. 6,300 safety kits and crop protection product boxes have been distributed free of charge
- Water consumption has been lowered by approx. 35% in the demo plots where accurate measurement and control is in place
- Farmers from more than 69 villages in North Gujarat now participate in the program
“With our joint efforts in this program, we support the sustainable production of castor beans to establish sustainable supply chains that amongst others increase the yields and income of the farmers,” said Karin Wagner, responsible for castor oil and derivatives procurement at BASF.
The farmer safety kits are provided by BASF. They include disposable respirators, safety glasses and gloves, as well as easy-to-understand, picture-based instructions that show where, when and how to use each personal protection item, along with instructions on how to handle chemicals safely.
The Pragati project was launched in May 2016 driven by a baseline survey of more than 1,000 castor farmers in Gujarat, India, where the majority of the world’s castor supply originates. The goal of the project is to enable sustainable castor crop production by:
- Using good agricultural practices to increase yield and farmer income
- Efficiently using water resources and maintaining soil fertility
- Driving adoption of good waste management practices
- Enabling better health and safety practices and respecting human rights