Wednesday, September 6, 2017

ACC helps farmers take steps towards realizing the Dream of an Organic Hub at Lakheri! #ACCLakheriCement

Kota, 7th September 2017: The farmers from the surrounding villages of the ACC Lakheri Cement Works have dared to dream. They are slowly adopting organic farming aided by technical inputs provided by ACC through the LEISA (Low External Input for Sustainable Agriculture) initiative and hope that one day the region would be known as the Organic Farming Hub of Rajasthan. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, and that step has been taken at Lakheri.

The organic farming initiative is spread across 550 hectares of farmland covering 350 farmer families of the surrounding ten villages of the Lakheri plant.

Farmers were sensitized and organized into farmer clubs in each village and linked with the Department of Agriculture, Horticulture, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, NABARD and Agriculture University to avail the benefits under various government schemes and programs.

Promotion of good agricultural practices was started with a subset of the Farmer’s Club members where five to ten progressive farmers from each village were identified to demonstrate the best practices in their fields. Demonstration plots were set up and farmers were supported and guided with field preparation, soil testing, seed treatment, selection of crop varieties, improved crop cultivation practices and right doses of manure etc. by the scientists of Krishi Vigyan Kendra Bundi and other partner agencies.

To promote organic farming, the farmers were supported and trained in setting up vermi-compost units and in the preparation of organic manure and organic pesticides. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides were completely replaced with bio fertilizers and bio pesticides from the demonstration plots. 

155 vermi-compost units were established at farmer fields where compost was prepared using farm waste and animal dung. The farmers were also encouraged to start using organic culture and fungicides.

Speaking about the success of LEISA in the region, Mr. Neeraj Akhoury, Managing Director & CEO, ACC Limited said, “The response to organic produce in the Lakheri town, where most of the produce is sold, has been very encouraging. Customers are willing to pay a premium price for the organic produce given the quality of the produce. The farmers that are adopting organic farming are increasing in number rapidly and it can be expected that the entire belt will soon be completely organic given the manner in which the region is accepting LEISA.”

Commenting on the positive impact of LEISA, Morpal Gujar, a farmer at Lakheri said, ACC in association with the Srijan India has transformed the lives of farmers in Lakheri. The ACC team brought together experts to educate us on various organic farming methods and exhibited their implementation. Due to these efforts, we have evolved from practicing subsistence agriculture and are now an organic farming hub that can produce a variety of different crops. Organic farming has also helped us in reducing our expenditure on pesticides and chemical fertilizers, amounting to a saving of Rs 7000-8000 per farmer per year.”

To take the next step towards making the project area an organic hub, individual farmers will be registered for producing certified organic produce, by establishing ‘multiple farmer producers organization.’ The Rajasthan State Seed and Organic Production Certification Agency has laid out norms for such certifications. As organic farming becomes more pervasive, farmers with contiguous land holdings under organic farming would be facilitated to obtain certification as Organic Grower Group.  

About ACC
ACC Limited, part of the LafargeHolcim Group, is one of India’s leading producers of cement and ready mixed concrete. With 7800 employees, 17 cement manufacturing sites, 50 concrete plants, a nationwide network of over 50,000 retail outlets and an R&D centre in Mumbai, the quality of ACC’s products and services, as well as its commitment to technological development, make it a preferred brand in building materials. Established in 1936, ACC is counted among the country’s “Most Sustainable Companies” and it is recognized for its best practices in environment management and corporate citizenship.

Disclaimer: The article & images used in this blog are the property of pr24x7 & the data is compiled by them.

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