The founding members of the 'Pragati' project for sustainable castor crop – Arkema, BASF, Jayant Agro-Organics along with implementation partner Solidaridad – recently finalized and published the final audited and certified results of the fifth year of their program.
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
After successfully completing the initial 3-year Phase 1 of the program, the founding members committed to a further 3-year Phase 2 beginning in late 2019.
In December 2021, the members officially updated the impacts of the program so far:
- Over 5,800 farmers have been trained, audited, and certified - an increase of 27% in year 5
- 36,000 tons of certified castor seed has been cultivated - an increase of 50% in year 5
- 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.
Arkema is proud to play a role in this great initiative. Pragati is the Hindi word for progress.