Saanjhi Unnati

saanjhi unnati
 

Barley produced in India is largely coarse and feed-grade resulting in poor quality with variable kernel size and high moisture. Moreover, this lower-quality barley does not command a premium price in the agricultural markets, hence farmer do not consider it a priority crop. Thus farmers do not invest in Government certified seeds, other inputs and training that would yield a higher-quality crop. As a result beer manufacturers make do with the barley that is available, although lower quality of barley drives up the processing cost for the brewers.

SABMiller India identified the developmental opportunities that existed in the Indian barley industry in terms of product quality, supply chain and farm productivity. The company realized that it needed access to better quality barley to create better quality malt and to reduce the processing costs. Backed with the successful experiences and learnings` in other developing countries and taking forward its Sustainable Development priority of bringing benefits to the communities, SABMiller India initiated the Saanjhi Unnati (Progress through Partnership) project in Rajasthan in 2005. The 'Saanjhi Unnati' programme currently targets Jaipur, Sikar, Alwar, Jhunjhunu, Tonk, Bundi and Bhilwara districts of Rajasthan and the programme has also expanded to the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand and Madhya Pradesh.

Malt Barley Development Programme 'Saanjhi Unnati'

SABMiller India initiated the Saanjhi Unnati (Progress through partnership) in Rajasthan in 2005 to develop malt barley varieties suitable for India; provide improved varieties to farmers; disseminate information on practices to improve the productivity of the crop and finally buy back the barley thus produced directly from the farmers, eliminating middlemen and hence shrinking the market spread.

The program was launched with 1574 farmers in the districts of Alwar, Sikar and Jaipur, managing about 4,000 acres of land. Now in its seventh year, the program is active in 5 States and deals with over 10,000 small and marginal farmers, who are managing about 30,000 acres of land.

Catalysing rural development and improving standard of living

While the project is targeted at improving the barley supply chain in India, the overall aim is to secure a long-term reliable source of locally grown malt-quality barley and test new strains of barley that offer better yield and price to the farmers. Finally, the objective is to produce the seed as well as buy product, thus ensuring higher grade of crop with superior brew house performance.

The project benefits the farmers and the local community by optimising land use, securing income and enabling them to participate in the growth of the Indian beer market. A prime example of a public-private partnership (PPP), Saanjhi Unnati involves working closely with Government and NGOs to catalyse rural development. We are further working closely with the State Government on our seed development programme to identify seed varieties that are best suited for climate and soil in Northwestern India. Consequently, from sourcing about 5% of malt requirement through the program in 2005-06, we currently source close to 48% of our malt requirement through this program. The idea is not only to improve yield and income of barley farmers but also to improve overall standard of their living.

How Saanjhi Unnati functions

SABMiller India actively manages the day to day of the Saanjhi Unnati program. The company has a dedicated team that manages and directs the 32 Saanjhi Unnati Centres where farmers can buy seed stock and other inputs such as fertilizers or pesticides or consult with the agricultural specialists. Each center employs two technical advisors who give recommendations and instructions relating to seed treatment, time of irrigation, method of fertilizer application, weeding practices, harvest timing and storage practices. In addition these centers function as buying stations, where barley is weighted, graded and farmers are paid on the spot for their crops.

The Rajasthan Government provides SABMiller India with the appropriate permissions and licenses to sell Government certified seeds and to purchase seeds directly from the farmers. Centre employees' track and monitor how much seed is purchased and the total harvest in order to help identify seed varieties that are well suited for the Rajasthan environment.

Benefits to the farmers:

  • Government certified seeds made available at a subsidized rate through the "seeds-on-wheels" campaign
  • Barley farmers educated on best practices to help them improve their quality and yields
  • Scientific inputs provided to farmers on issues pertaining to soil testing and agronomic advice?
  • Farmers get an assured market for their barley, transparent transactions, fair pricing structure and on the spot payment.

Benefits to the company:

  • Meet the target of achieving a stable, secure source of malting barley to produce its beverages
  • Having access to the higher-quality malting barley helps the company reduce the cost of brewing process
  • Helps in improving the quality and extending the shelf life of its products

Results and Achievements of the Initiative

The 'Saanjhi Unnati' programme started in 2005 with only 3 centers and by 2012; the programme has expanded to 32 centers in over 5 states. We have received a very encouraging response from most of the farmers in the districts and have reached out to over 10,000 farmers as compared to 1574 farmers from the time we started in 2005.

During, 2012-13, through these centers farmers purchased about 1200 MT of certified seeds, up from 165 MT at the beginning of the program. More than 5,000 non-members have taken advantage of free agricultural advice and assistance provided by the centers. The average measure of malt extract has increased by 2 percent.

Through the program the farmers have benefitted in getting an assured market for their barley, transparent transactions, and fair pricing structures.

India Barley Development Program Planning for 2013-14

Particulars

Rajasthan

Haryana

Uttrakhand

Punjab

MP

Total

No. of centers

18

5

2

1

6

32

Seed Sold (Mt)

1118

53

28

0

99

1298

Acreage (Ac)

24,047

1,546

866

75

2,449

28,983

No. of Farmers

8,110

696

100

6

1,362

10,274

Purchase (Mt) for 2013-2014

34,850

1,800

675

100

2,400

39,825