4X MULTIPLICATION OF FARMER’S INCOME
Our model is specially designed to bring back degraded land under cultivation, from which the farmers were earlier unable to gain a source of income.. Through SAI’s agroforestry model, the farmers not only grow seasonal crops but also tree plantation with assured market linkages .
The economic value of the seasonal crops from each acre ranges between US$200-US$300 annually, whereas the economic return from the tree plantation ranges between US$2500 to US3000 every 4th year when the trees are harvested. As the trees are coppice are nature, they regenerate after harvesting and are harvested every 4th year.
The farmers’ income is thus multiplying from almost no income to US$500-US$600 annually per acre.
Our model addresses abject poverty and alienation from the land of tribal & marginalized farmers; we partner with them to help them reclaim their land, gain a sustainable income, and nutritional security for them and their families.
The model not only ensures sustainable livelihoods to small landholders but also the people without land (landless) and rural unemployed youth. We generate approximately 100 person-days of wage employment per acre during harvesting & transportation of matured woods. This not only provides landless with employment at home but also protects women and adolescent girls from sexual exploitation when they migrate.
SAI identifies and train rural unemployed youth to become ‘Community Resource Person’ (CRP). Upon successful training, they are inducted as full-time employees with SAI to provide one-to-one support to the small farmers for which they earn an attractive salary and social recognition.
About 17% of India’s land is either fallow or culturable wasteland – the land which has potential for the development of vegetative cover but is not being used due to different constraints. Majority of such lands are with small and marginal farmers which constitute 85% of the farming population.
By promoting agroforestry on such lands SAI improves the soil’s humus content and makes it highly fertile. Annually, with our model, approx 30 kgs nitrogen per acre is added through inter-cropping with legume crops.
SAI model is also an excellent example of land pooling and working together. With the support of CRPs, the small farmers pool their land together and work on agroforestry model. This saves the cost of production; improves management and care and ultimately the productivity.
DEVELOPING RESILIENT SUPPLY CHAINS
India is the fastest-growing market for paper globally and the futuristic view is that growth in paper consumption would be in multiples of GDP and hence an increase in consumption by one kg per capita would lead to an increase in demand of 1 million tons. But, Make in India in the paper is seriously threatened given the comparatively higher cost of raw material, coupled with significant cost rise of fuels has resulted in a substantial rise in the cost of domestic manufacture of paper and paperboard, affecting the competitiveness of the domestic paper industry. For other agro based businesses, the scenario looks similar.
SAI is working with small & marginal farmers in the core zone of paper mills, and supply raw materials at mill gate price. About 38%-40% of paper manufacturing cost is on raw materials. Therefore, lowering down of raw material cost not only makes paper mills competitive with the international market but it also significantly reduce carbon footprint by cutting down transportation. In addition, these local supply chains are less likely to get disrupted by crisis, and thus are more cost effective. We are also implementing our agroforestry model for providing raw materials to the herbal and pharmaceutical sector.
REDUCING GLOBAL WARMING
Our agroforestry model isn’t only an avenue for smallholder farmers to gain financial security, but it is also one that contributes to reducing global warming. Our model actively improves the quality and productivity of the soil, and in doing so, each acre sequesters 36.5 tonnes of carbon over a crediting period of 30 years. This study was done as part of a UNFCCC CDM project in JKPM’s field area. In addition, by reclaiming degraded land, we are limiting the release of soil carbon and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere, thus further reducing global warming.