SABMiller makes first payouts under barley scheme

Commodity Online, 09-September-2008

JAIPUR: SABMiller India which is implementing a crop insurance scheme for barely farmers in Rajasthan to make a commercial crop rather than a subsistence crop has made its first insurance payouts under its pilot scheme.

Recognizing that insurance is an important economic tool for the farmer, SABMiller India undertook this initiative to expose the farmers to the concept of insurance coverage, and help them ensure returns. The pilot launched during 2007-08 covered 39 farmers spread over 6 districts of Rajasthan and was kick started in association with Sahaj Agrofarm India Pvt. Ltd. and Morarka Foundation, a reputed Rajasthan based NGO, offering innovative solutions at the grassroots level for sustaining agriculture, according to a press release.

Furthering the company’s efforts in improving barley farming and to uplift the social and economic conditions of the barley farmers by ensuring direct purchase of barley from the farmers, SABMiller India’s barley crop insurance program is the first of its kind to be undertaken by any organization. It reflects the company’s commitment to commercialization of barley crop cultivation.

According to Mr Sundeep Kumar, Director Corporate Communications & Affairs, SABMiller India, “SABMiller India strives towards making social contribution that would benefit the communities. For weather insurance programme to further gain strength and to leave a footprint in the sphere of agricultural insurance it is imperative for us to gain support from the state government and communities. “

”The programme is the outcome of thorough research and survey done with the farmers in Rajasthan, with the introduction of our social entrepreneur programme, we are confident of expanding it to a next level in the near future” said Mr. Mukesh Gupta, Executive Director, Morarka Foundation.

Sanjhi Unnati programme has been running successfully since the last 3 years to help the commercialization of barley cultivation in India. Sanjhi Unnati started distributing government certified seeds and educating existing barley farmers on best practices to help them improve their quality and yields. With the government’s support, this initiative can expand to the other districts/ tehsils and help thousands of farmers.

SABMiller India is the Indian arm of SABMiller Plc, one of the world's largest brewers with brewing interests or major distribution agreements in over 60 countries across six continents. With a market share of around 35% in its core markets, SABMiller India is one of the largest players in the market and has grown consistently ahead of the industry.