By 2050, the world population is set to increase from six to nine billion. One-in-eight persons worldwide are chronically hungry. And of these, nearly 60 per cent are resource poor farmers with small land holdings. If we can help the farmers increase food production it will help ensure food security to a large part of the global population. The challenge is compounded by the limitation of natural resources like cultivable land, fertile soil, water availability etc and by the adverse climatic changes affecting us.
In India, the challenges are no different. The rural population is majorly dependent on agriculture and with improving agriculture comes in the hope for economic prosperity that drives a billion dreams.
To meet these varied challenges facing agriculture and the need for increased food, fiber and energy, there is no single solution. A number of efforts need to come together to create a visible impact to lives of the people.
We are committed to making a difference to the lives of all the people that we touch through our products, our efforts in the field or through our philanthropic activities.
Our CSR Vision: Help improve lives by partnering with communities to deliver lasting solutions
Our CSR vision is based on four key Commitments
1. Commitment to Improve Lives: We believe in helping improve lives of farmers & farm families and women & children in communities around where we live and work. Our approach is to help provide them with better information, access to education and healthcare facilities and enable them to make better choices in their lives.
2. Commitment to Sustainable development: We believe in developing lasting solutions, while addressing critical community needs and ensuring sensitization, participation and ownership of the community members on the project interventions to have sustainable outcomes and long term impact.
3. Commitment to Partnerships: The challenges facing us are huge and require everyone to come and work together to find solutions and make a meaningful difference. We believe in the power of Partnerships with credible NGOs, governments, like-minded companies and individuals to deliver long term benefits to the communities and are committed to them.
4. Care and Concern: Care and concern is intrinsic to the Monsanto pledge & values we live it through our work. Our efforts in CSR are empathetic to the needs of the communities and reflect in the way we work with them to build solution that help transform their lives and livelihood.
Scope and areas of engagement for Monsanto India in CSR
Our CSR efforts span three thematic areas and are illustrated below:
Sustainable Agriculture: Monsanto is committed towards providing assistance for development and impact on livelihoods of farmers and farm families by providing support for farm infrastructure, access to water and water conservation, and support efforts in improving rural productivity and building market linkages, bringing in sustainability across the agricultural system.
Health and Nutrition: Rural India has 6.4 lakh villages with significant challenges in access and quality of healthcare, lack of knowledge and access to sanitation facilities, personal and community hygiene and drinking water solutions. There is an opportunity to lead holistic development through support in the food and nutrition space. We are committed to working towards improving lives of the rural communities with our programs in the health and nutrition space.
Education: Monsanto believes in the power of education and the difference that it can make to the future generations of the country. DISHA is Monsanto’s flagship program in education and is committed towards strengthening learning outcomes by enhancing school effectiveness, improving quality of teaching practices and infrastructure support.
Disaster Rehabilitation: Being an integral part of India’s business ecosystem and being integrally linked to the communities, we are committed to helping the communities overcome the disruption in their livelihoods and return to their normal lives. The Monsanto disaster rehabilitation effort provides sustained support to the people and communities affected by natural calamities and help them rebuild their lives and recover.
Through our CSR efforts, we will continue to work with the communities around where we live and work and support them to improve their lives. we will strive to support the farmer & the farm families in their livelihoods centred on agriculture and help make their efforts sustainable through suitable interventions. We will also strive to support women & children in the rural areas and provide them with better access to health, nutrition and education opportunities.
Our efforts in the thematic areas are closeted under two spearhead programs.
Natural resources such as land, water and energy continue to be stagnant or are diminishing in India, and we are witnessing increasing environmental stresses like drought, flood, heat, and cold. 30% of the nation’s population lives below-poverty-line on less than 2,000 calories per day, while one-in-eight people worldwide are chronically hungry. To provide food & nutrition security to its people, the focus has to be on improving food production capability. Agriculture in India will have to overcome water shortages and climate change, which emerge as some of the most daunting challenges of the next century. The nation has to focus on building capability to produce more leveraging the resources it has at its disposal and its large base of small and marginal farmers will play a central role in that.
Monsanto’s effort through this program aims at helping small and marginal farmers’ access information, techniques and build capabilities to make their efforts sustainable. SHARE stands for Sustainable Harvests – Agriculture, Resources & Environment. The projects under this program focus on making agriculture output sustainable, provide additional livelihood opportunities and improve household income for small and marginal farmers.
The efforts under this program will focus on providing farmers access to better information and exposure to advanced agronomic practices including
- setting up demonstration plots,
- vermi-compost units,
- irrigation and water harvesting structures,
It will also cover exposure visits of the farmers to enhance awareness on best agricultural practices. These interventions should help in increasing farmers’ yields.
On the output side, market linkages with buyers and agri-input suppliers will be facilitated for better price realization for the farmers’ produce, while procuring inputs at a reasonably advantageous price. This would ensure enhanced incomes for the farmers leading to better socio-economic livelihood options for the farmers as well as their families.
The efforts will also focus on the farm families and creation of Self Help Groups (SHGs) with the farm families to explore opportunities of augmenting family intervention through small scale economic efforts.
DISHA covers our efforts in the Health, Nutrition and Education areas focused on women and children in the rural communities.
The projects under this program aim to impact the communities by providing better access to
- Drinking water through supply and water conservation efforts
- Sanitation facilities
- Education support
The effort will include creation of new drinking water facilities including RO units and also strengthening the current water distribution sources to benefit the communities.
On sanitation, apart from just construction of toilets & community sensitization trainings, focus will be on conducting awareness sessions on hygiene to help reduce water-borne and hygiene related health problems. The livelihood projects under the program will include skill based training for women to enhance incomes to provide better lives to their families.
Rural hunger continues to be one of the biggest reasons for dropping out of education. On the education front, our efforts are aimed at providing impetus to primary education by supporting the government’s mid-day meal program through our partners. The effort will aim at providing access to nutrition and education to rural children and help them grow up to be productive citizens. The other efforts under this theme will focus on improving learning levels of children from diverse backgrounds through improved learning tools, providing inclusive classrooms, teacher trainings in government primary schools to improve classroom attendance and reduce the drop-out rates in rural schools. We will also look at improving access & quality of education by establishing libraries in government primary schools to improve reading & learning abilities of children while providing an inclusive and interactive learning environment in schools.