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Farmers in a barley field

Our priorities: Enterprise development

'Progress through Partnership – barley farmers in India'

SABMiller India

India

Barley in India has traditionally only been grown as animal feed.  It has therefore not been a priority crop for farmers who get yields as low as 1.1 tonne per acre and often don't get a fair deal in terms of pricing.

However at SABMiller India, we have set ourselves the goal to introduce and develop malt barley cultivation in India and to source 100% of our malting barley from local suppliers in India, rather than relying on imports within the next five years. Realising the need to improve the quality of local barley, we began our "Progress through Partnership" (Saanjhi Unnati) programme in the State of Rajasthan in 2005.

Through the programme we have established centres where farmers can purchase seeds and fertilisers as well as receive advice from agricultural experts. The centres are also used as buying centres where barley is weighted, graded and farmers are paid for their crops. During the year 2010-11, we sourced 27,426 tonnes of barley from smallholder farmers involved with the programme.

Farmers in a barley field

I'm extremely proud of how successful "Progress through Partnership" has been. Since beginning the programme in Rajasthan, we are now working with over 7,400 farmers in five states, including Madhya Pradesh which we expanded to this year. We have a committed team of over 30 project officers, who are agricultural science graduates and post-graduates rendering support and assistance to the member farmers. Through our untiring efforts, we are proud to state that the average productivity of barley in the project area has gone up to over 3.5 Mt/Ha (1.6 Mt/Ac).

Kiran Reddy – VP Brewing Raw Materials, SABMiller India

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