Monsanto Helps Empower Farmers in Gujarat, India

According to FAO, in developing countries, smallholder farmers produce most of their counties’ food. However, they tend to be generally poorer and less food-secure than the rest of their countries’ populations. In countries like Peru, Nicaragua, Rwanda and Sierra Leone, more than 60 percent of people in rural areas live below the poverty line – and the majority are farmers. 

Many of these farmers struggle due to limited, if any, access to technology and advanced tools to improve farming conditions and increase crop yields. The World Bank estimates in India, the value added per worker—a measure of agricultural productivity—is $478. In Burkina Faso, it’s only $180. In the United States, it’s $45,417. 

Drought is a leading issue in places like Africa and India. In the U.S., many farmers have access to sophisticated irrigation systems, but in developing countries, farmers rely on rainfall to irrigate their crops.

The tribal belt of Gujarat, India yields only half of the world’s average yields due to a lack of rainfall and hybridized corn. To help 140,000 farmers in the area, Monsanto provided free or low-cost DEKALB® corn hybrid seeds, fertilizers, crop management inputs and training. The government provided cash funds at low-interest rates and free insurance to protect farmers from rain-related impact on crops.

As a result, farm yields more than doubled, generating an additional income of (US) $274 million.