CropLife’s Madhu San­desh pro­gramme gains mo­men­tum

In­dia pol­li­na­tion project ‘Madhu San­desh’ recog­nised In­ter­na­tion­ally at Asia Pa­cific Ex­cel­lence Awards for new ap­proach to farmer com­mu­ni­ca­tion

Rural & Marketing - - PESTICIDES -

To em­power farm­ers, CropLife has taken mul­ti­ple steps to­wards ca­pac­ity build­ing at the grass­roots in In­dia. Own­ing to the pos­i­tive im­pact of th­ese pro­grammes, es­pe­cially “Madhu San­desh”, a pol­li­na­tion ini­tia­tive in In­dia, CropLife was awarded the Asia Pa­cific Ex­cel­lence Award in the Non-Govern­men­tal Or­ga­ni­za­tions and As­so­ci­a­tions cat­e­gory at the Har­bour Grand Kowloon in Hong Kong re­cently.

The “Madhu San­desh” pro­gramme pro­vides sub­sidised bee hive rentals to farm­ers to pol­li­nate their crops. This not only re­sults in im­proved yield and in­comes for farm­ers but also in­stills a holis­tic un­der­stand­ing of the need to use crop pro­tec­tion prod­ucts in a man­ner that pro­tects the en­vi­ron­ment and ecosys­tems.

The project show­cased out­stand­ing out­comes in both crop yields and qual­ity pol­li­na­tion and re­ceived tremen­dous ap­pre­ci­a­tion from farm­ers and the gov­ern­ment. It is not only gain­ing ac­co­lades in In­dia but also re­ceiv­ing In­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion.

At the end of the first year, 90 per­cent of the 180 par­tic­i­pants re­ported bet­ter qual­ity crops. Pome­gran­ate farm­ers saw an av­er­age of 35 per­cent in­crease in their yields, cor­re­spond­ing to a 42 per­cent in­crease in in­come while the train­ing they re­ceived helped re­duce waste. More­over, the farm­ers who ben­e­fit­ted from the pro­gramme be­came en­thu­si­as­tic ad­vo­cates of pro­mot­ing pol­li­na­tion, pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and us­ing crop pro­tec­tion prod­ucts re­spon­si­bly. The pro­gramme con­tin­ues to en­rol more par­tic­i­pants.

“We are ex­tremely proud and hon­oured to re­ceive this recog­ni­tion, which was made pos­si­ble through the ef­fort and ex­cel­lent team­work of our part­ners, ICAR and KVK Bara­mati”, said Brij Uberoi, CEO, CropLife In­dia.

“CropLife In­dia’s con­tri­bu­tion has been tremen­dous in demon­strat­ing and pro­mot­ing the pro­lif­er­a­tion and pro­fes­sion­al­i­sa­tion of the bee­keep­ing in­dus­try in Bara­mati in Ma­ha­rash­tra,” Uberoi added.

Ra­jku­mar K. Thakur, Project Co­or­di­na­tor, All In­dia Co­or­di­nated Re­search Project (AICRP) on Honey bees and Pol­li­na­tors, ICAR, New Delhi said, “Our ob­jec­tive is to pro­tect the nat­u­ral in­sect pol­li­na­tors, all species of honey bees and util­is­ing them as pol­li­na­tors’ re­source for in­creased crop pro­duc­tiv­ity while en­sur­ing food and nu­tri­tional se­cu­rity”.

Dr. Syed Shakir Ali, Head and Se­nior Sci­en­tist, Kr­ishi Vi­gyan Ken­dra, Bara­mati (Pune) said, “The Asia Pa­cific Award is an ac­knowl­edge­ment for the suc­cess of this project and en­cour­age­ment to cre­ate aware­ness amongst farm­ers to pol­li­nate their crops with bee­hives and re­spon­si­bly use crop pro­tec­tion prod­ucts. The onus is on us to en­sure farm­ers ev­ery­where are able to pro­duce more with less, while boost­ing their in­comes”.

Dr. Milind Joshi, Sub­ject Matter Spe­cial­ist (Plant Pro­tec­tion), KVK, Bara­mati said, “It is now the re­ceipt of the work at in­ter­na­tional level for the aware­ness pro­gramme for honey bees. Re­cently, Novem­ber 3, 2016, we have awarded the farm­ers for best man­age­ment of the bee hives while us­ing them for pol­li­na­tion in pome­gran­ate and onion seed pro­duc­tion. The farm­ers are also be­ing trained on Re­spon­si­ble Use of Plant Pro­tec­tion Prod­ucts through this project. As the aware­ness in the farm­ing com­mu­nity is in­creas­ing for the same, there is a great scope for this project in fu­ture."

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