After its successful launch in June 2017, Bayer India has constantly been scaling up ‘Project Sahyog’ with small rice farmers in Motihari, Bihar, a prominent region in the rice growing belt of India. Rice is an important staple food crop in India and that is main reason Bayer chose to implement Project Sahyog.
With its Arize brand, Bayer offers a broad portfolio of high-yielding hybrid rice varieties adapted to diverse field conditions and the varying needs of farmers. Till date, approximately 8000 farmers across 100 villages in the East Champaran district of Bihar have visited Arize demonstrations and taken part in trainings on integrated crop management solutions, good agronomic practices, nutrient management and weed management.
‘Project Sahyog’ is being encouraged by Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh. The Minister attended a farmer felicitation program organized by Bayer India in Pipra Kothi town in Bihar on Sunday. The event saw a gathering of more than 500 rice farmers and key officials from the government and industry associations.
Indian agriculture is primarily driven by small and marginal farmers who practice conventional farming. The lack of awareness about good agronomic practices and new technologies in agriculture impacts the productivity and farm incomes of farmers. In order to create awareness on hybridization and the role it can play in enhancing food security, Bayer India had initiated “Project Sahyog” in June 2017.
‘Project Sahyog’ is Bayer’s joint initiative with Indian Grameen Services (IGS) and is being implemented under the aegis of the Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC). The main objective of this initiative is to sensitize farmers and officials from India’s Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, about the potential of hybrid rice seed to enhance food security.
Speaking at the event, Richard van der Merwe, Senior Bayer Representative, South Asia, said, “As one of the leading players in the Indian agri-industry and with a history of more than 120 years of operations in India, Bayer has a deep understanding of Indian agriculture and the needs and challenges of Indian farmers. With Bayer’s Arize hybrid seeds, rice farmers in Bihar have been able to increase their yields and thus increase their farm income and livelihoods. Through ‘Project Sahyog’, we are also supporting the Government of India’s vision to double farmers’ income by 2022.”
Sharing his thoughts on ‘Project Sahyog’, Kumaresh Rout, Vice President, IGS, said: “Bayer’s support is critical in driving productivity enhancement of rice farmers. This initiative is being widely appreciated by participating farmers in the project areas. Government officials have also been able to see the benefits of Arize for themselves. In 2018, we plan to scale up our efforts further to sensitize important stakeholders on the role of hybrid seeds in enhancing yields and helping feed a growing population.”