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CropLife’s farmer engagement programme gains momentum

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

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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 Organisations 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 as it moves into its second year.

“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 and would like to thank them on this occasion”, 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.

Dr. 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".

Rajendra Pawar, Chairman, Agricultural Development Trust, Baramati said, “Due to this project, the farmers are now well aware for the role of honey bees in increasing the crop yield besides honey production as they have received about 15-25 percent increase in yield. I am very much thankful to CropLife India/ Asia and ICAR to start this Pilot Project from KVK Baramati first in Asia”.

The Asia Pacific Excellence Awards, organised by Communication Director – a global magazine for corporate communications and public relations, celebrates the most outstanding achievements of professionals and organisations in the field.

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