FMC India is supporting farmers towards a better and more prosperous life through its community outreach program – Project Samarth.
The company is committed to making a difference to the lives of Indian farming families by promoting four key issues: safe water and good health, good agricultural practices, science in agriculture and empowering women in agriculture.
Various farmer-focused projects are either running or are under initiation as pillars of Project Samarth. For example, the Safe Water Initiative under Project Samarth directly supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.1 of providing “universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030”. Through this initiative, FMC India hopes to make safe and potable drinking water accessible to 200,000 farming families in the country under within the next three years.
Under the Safe Water Initiative, the company installed 15 water filtration plants in 2019. The dispensing units were installed for each family to access its safe water allocation easily with a swipe card that releases 20 litres of water. The plants are managed by the village community on a cooperative basis with local FMC staff supporting and guiding the local communities in running the management of the plants.
Elaborating on the impact of the initiative on the community, Manikant Mishra, a villager from Ramuapur said, “After installation of the water plants, the incidence of diseases has reduced by almost 50 percent. Additionally, it has also given us freedom from the expenditures on treatment of these ailments.”
In the year 2020, the company installed 52 water purification units in sugarcane co-operative societies in the state of Uttar Pradesh that featured purification, cooler and storage facilities. The units have a purification capacity of 40 litres per hour. This resulted in farmers and visitors coming to the sugar co-ops having access to pure and cold water all through the year. This was further enhanced with the installation of 27 new community water purification units in March 2021. Today, 120 villages, 80,000 farmer families in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab are expected to reap benefits from this initiative. Mithilesh, a housewife from Faizpur thanked FMC for providing this facility that helps her save time and energy and has made everyone in her family comfortable. Another villager elucidated, “The project has not only helped improve our economic conditions but also brought health, happiness and peace of mind amongst the families availing the service. We save time on getting water which can be utilized for farming.”
FMC is expanding the scope of the project to include five more states across India and will be commissioning up to 35 community water filtration units in the chosen states in 2021. A similar number of such plants are scheduled for 2022 as well. The access to safe and reliable water source for the farming community will reduce their daily struggles of collecting water and this time can be invested into other means of revenue generation and practicing sustainable farming.
As an extension of the Safe Water Initiative, the company has been educating farmers on best practices to enhance sustainable management of freshwater resources. For example, for World Water Day 2021, FMC initiated an awareness campaign in rural areas by organising more than 400 farmer meetings across 18 states, reaching more than 14,000 in the farming community throughout the country. To help promote water stewardship in agriculture, over 4,000 FMC technical field experts talked to farmers about good agriculture practices for enhancing farm sustainability and shared different methods to optimise water use, enhance efficiency and conserve water.
Apart from the Safe Water Initiative, FMC, which is among the leading crop protection companies supporting farmers with innovative technologies developed through localized research and development efforts that deliver customized solutions to farmers in India, has also been actively working on other projects to improve the living standards of the farming community and enhancing sustainability. The company’s work is focused not just on supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of Clean Water and Sanitation, but also that of Zero Hunger.
Sustainability, one of FMC’s core values, is at the center of the company’s dedication to support farmers maintain a safe and secure food supply. The teams work round the clock to deliver solutions and knowledge that enhance agricultural productivity and enrich the lives and livelihoods of farmers around the world.
FMC partnered with DCM Shriram Group in a pilot project for sugarcane farmers last year, focusing on safe water, good agricultural practices, judicious use of crop protection products and rural development. 3.2 million farmers have been reached through numerous awareness and training camps on good agricultural practices during the year 2020.