17 August, 2023: The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) – National Research Centre for Integrated Pest Management (NCIPM) and 70-year-old Indian origin FMCG company, LT Foods, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. According to this, 10,000 farmers in the country will be trained on sustainable farming practices.
This initiative is part of the ESG Goal of LT Foods to train 50,000 farmers by 2025. The company has till date, trained 20,000 framers all from across India. These farmers were trained under the company’s SRP or Sustainable Rice Production programme. The gap between conventional and sustainable rice production through integrated crop management will also be bridged through this programme.
A total of 30,000 farmers will benefit by the end of this year in terms of training from this collaboration of LT Foods with ICAR-NCIPM. The ICAR-NCIPM is reckoned as an apex body for the coordination, guidance, research management and education in Integrated Pest Management.
The recent MOU spells out the training to be provided to farmers from the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (U.P) and Madhya Pradesh (M.P).
Education and guidance will be imparted to farmers on the optimum use of resources including pesticides, water, fertilizers and so on. This will help maintain the agricultural process regenerative and will support the ESG goals of reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions as well as water consumption. The literature related to Integrated Crop Management (ICM) in Rice as a component of Sustainable Rice Production (SRP) will be prepared by ICAR-NCIPM and it will provide consultancy in managing key pests and diseases in rice through ICM. The distribution of rice-ICM technology as a part of SRP through field schools and training to farmers will also be provided by them.
Vice President – Finance & Strategy, LT Foods, Ms. Monika C. Jaggia said, that the integration of sustainability across the company’s operations was a top priority. The farmer she said is an important stakeholder in the value chain and their wellbeing and prosperity was very important. The prioritization of sustainable practices enhances the economic viability of the farmers while upholding and protecting the collective responsibility to protect and conserve the natural resources of the planet.
Advisor, Farmer Connect Programme, LT Foods, Mr. Kevin Parker said, they had been providing training to farmers on sustainable farming practices for a long time in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, and now were looking at scaling up their efforts.
Principal Scientist and PI, ICAR-NCIPM, for the Project, Dr. Mukesh Sehgal, said that this partnership was a reflection of the shared commitment to enhance agricultural practices and promote environmental stewardship for promoting a prosperous future for the farmers.
Director, ICAR-NCIPM Dr. Subhash Chander said that they were happy to collaborate with LT Foods in equipping the farming communities with the knowledge and tools that they needed to make the change and transition to sustainable farming practices.
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