Jaipur: Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL), a leader in the sustainable mining industry has joined hands with Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology (MPUAT), the largest university for the agriculture and allied sector, and BAIF Livelihoods (Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation) to expand its SAMADHAN programme and impact more than 30,000 farmers across Rajasthan.
The signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding was graced by senior dignitaries and officers from all three organisations. From MPUAT, Dr N. S. Rathore, Vice-Chancellor, MPUAT, Dr S.L. Sharma, Director Research, Dr I.J. Mathur Director Extension along with Deans, Directors and Professors. Anupam Nidhi, Head CSR, Hindustan Zinc along with the SAMADHAN project leaders and the CSR team were accompanied by representatives from BAIF Bharat Kakade, Managing Director, Dr Raviraj Jadhav, Regional Director, L.R. Singh, Chief Program Manager, along with project leaders.
Indian farmers remain the backbone of our nation’s economy as the Indian economy is still an agricultural-based country. Statistics reveal that Indian agriculture is a sector accounting for 18 per cent of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and provides employment to nearly 60 per cent of workers. Hindustan Zinc Limited has been implementing the SAMADHAN programme with an objective to enhance the income-generating capacity of the agrarian community-based in five districts – Ajmer, Chittorgarh, Bhilwara, Udaipur, and Rajsamand.
“In the current competitive world, it is important for our local farmers to stay updated on best scientific practices to maximise the livelihood opportunities available to them. In this regard, we have signed an MOU with Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology. This partnership will benefit over 30,000 farmers under the SAMADHAN initiative by imparting them with the knowledge of technological advancements in the field of agriculture. This will further help us to look way beyond and promote smart agriculture in Rajasthan by making our programme a low carbon initiative,” said Arun Misra, CEO & Whole Time Director, Hindustan Zinc.
The SAMADHAN programme has now been operational for more than four years with the support of implementing partner BAIF Livelihoods and during this period the programme has benefitted 13,835 farmers with area-specific innovative agriculture practices and 14,517 farmers with improved cattle breeding and animal advisory services.
The collaboration will enhance and ensure efficient trickling down of agriculture and livestock innovation till farm level, making SAMADHAN an aspirational program for other states and regions. Dr N. S. Rathore, Vice-Chancellor, MPUAT emphasised the importance of empowerment required in the farming community and developing the capacity of farmers who are the building blocks of the nation’s economy. SAMADHAN always has been focussing on introducing better alternatives to develop sustainable farming models for the farming community.
On its way forward, SAMADHAN is also moving into community-based institution ‘Farmer Producer Organisations’ to strengthen the farming community and bring in sustainability through the programme. MPUAT will also support the programme with on-farm technical guidance and provide institutional training to bring out progressive farmers from our community. “This collaboration with MPUAT as an academic partner will help in creating a space to bring in synergy which in turn will result in an impactful transformation,” said Bharat Kakade, Managing Director, BAIF.
SAMADHAN has also been able to develop over 263 acres of land with fruit-bearing plants, improving the ecological balance and economical security of the community. With its Integrated Livestock Development Centre, SAMADHAN has been able to create 5338 female progenies which yield 1.5 times more milk production and catered more than one lakh large and small ruminants through its animal health camps.