In Uttar Pradesh Coca-Cola, IFC and DCM Shriram helping farmers raise sugarcane yields

Coca-Cola, World Bank’s private investment arm International Finance Corporation (IFC) and DCM Shriram have helped raise sugarcane yields in Uttar Pradesh, and corporate executives say the budget’s announcement of a model law on contract farming will help farmers significantly.

The companies are already working in rural areas to get proper farm inputs, which helps farmers deal with poor soil health and water availability to increase productivity, executives said. 

“Working with our suppliers and their suppliers, we are ensuring that we get long-term more reliable supplies of sugarcane and in the process, we ensure that prices are affordable, the yields continue to improve,” said Venkatesh Kini, president at Coca-Cola India. 

DCM Shriram engages with about 1.5 lakh farmers in Uttar Pradesh and trains them to help increase their produce, which the company buys from them. The company is Coca-Cola’s supplier and has four sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh and engages with farmers around them. DCM Shriram is already working with the farmers on a contract basis, where it buys all the sugarcane yield from them. 

“We welcome FM’s announcement in the budget on a model law on contract farming as sugarcane is a threefour years crop and needs stable laws/policies,” said Roshan Lal Tamak, executive director at DCM Shriram. 

“It will definitely help the cane farmers, as sugarcane farmers have largely small and marginal land holdings, and hence, they are not in a position to invest in adoption of technologies, better techniques, mechanization etc, while contract farming will enable easy adoption of the same, resulting in better incomes and productivity for the farmers.” 

With Coca-Cola joining the project last year, the scalability of the project has increased, said the company. The beverage maker, in turn, is ensuring a long-term supply from DCM Shriram. The project also aims at contributing to the government's target of doubling the farmers' income by 2022, the stakeholders said. 

“We at IFC are providing advisory knowledge to DCM Shrirams project. Besides increasing productivity, we want to make sugarcane cultivation profitable for farmers and help increase their income,” said RP Singh, senior technical adviser for sugarcane at IFC. 

Kind Courtesy :economictimes.indiatimes.com

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