IDH to help connect Indian firms with sustainable crop value chains to drive responsible sourcing

IDH, which has been working with the Indian farmers in crop value chains such as cotton and coffee linking them with global brands, now proposes to connect them with the domestic brands.

“We have been largely working with the global companies helping them connect with the supply chain. We are now starting to engage with the domestic players,” said Jagjeet Singh Kandal, Country Director for IDH in India.

The idea is to connect the Indian firms with the crop value chains that have adopted sustainable practices such as use of less inputs including water among others, providing a market linkage.

“Majority of our Indian businesses have not leveraged, I would say in the marketplace sustainability as a go to customer. If businesses take up responsible sourcing as a method of doing business, it would actually promote more responsible behaviour down the supply chain,” he said.

“There are not many people talking about responsible sourcing and why we are focusing on this is because many a time we have found that there are businesses which have sustainability team and procurement teams, but those two don’t talk to each other. The idea is to bring those teams together and try to embed sustainability into procurement of businesses, which should foster this whole move towards responsible business,” Kandal said. IDH is organising a two-day event on responsible sourcing in Delhi on Saturday.

IDH is an international NGO funded by the Dutch Government, the Swiss Government and the Danish Government and also by philanthropic foundations and some private sector companies in agriculture, he said.

IDH has been working in India since 2009 been helping small holder farmers adopt sustainable agriculture practices across crop value chains such as cotton, coffee, chilli, cardamom, ginger, soyabean, wheat, potatoes, paddy and mint is now focusing on driving the regenerative agriculture. IDH works with over a million farmers across these crop value chains.

Climate change

Through regnerative agriculture, there is a lot of focus on improving the soil conditions, improving the water usage or capacity building a lot with farmers is around these themes and with a very clear thought process on how do we enable a farmer to be farming with adaptation towards climate change, Kandal said.

“The biggest challenge the farmer faces is that of climate change. Also there’s an underlying challenge – the soils in the Indian agriculture have got depleted over the years due to intensive farming. So a lot of focus is on how do we help the Indian farmer to reduce the use of chemicals, whether it be pest control or fertiliser. It is a very slow process because moving somebody away from fertiliser to bio inputs is a slow process and has to be done slowly. We work with farmers throughout the year and that’s when you realise and know what inputs go into the foil and not just a very basic of sustainability in agriculture.” said Kandal.

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