Villages in India Program Expands
The Mosaic Company is driven by its mission- to help the world grow the food it needs. This includes efforts to educate farmers on how to increase yields and improve land management. The Mosaic Company Foundation, Mosaic India Pvt Ltd, implemented by S M Sehgal Foundation in India have worked together for more than 10 years to help smallholder farmers, those with less than 25 acres, break the cycle of poverty, moving farms from survival to surplus.
The Mosaic Villages Program in India, called Krishi Jyoti, started with just two villages offering agronomic training to help smallholder farmers learn about soil health, land-management and water protection, and education support with improvements to drinking water systems, school kitchens and nutrition training, and improvements in sanitation. The program grew to include 100 villages, over 7500 farm families benefiting approximately 124,000 people, and averaging 18-35% crop yield increases in wheat, mustard, millet and cotton. In addition, participants in Krishi Jyoti received no-interest loans to buy fertilizer at the time of planting and are able to repay the loans through the sale of surplus yield at harvest – helping to boost the local economy and support food security in the region.
“Krishi Jyoti is expanding beyond farmer support to help families develop their own home gardens and provide nutritional education. Malnutrition and undernourishment are a concern in rural India. If we can improve household food security with safe, accessible, and acceptable foods; we hope to counteract nutritional vulnerability,” explained Robin Edwin, Managing Director, Mosaic in India. “The best way to make sure that families have balanced meals and access to nutritious options is by working with the matriarchs of the families.”
In February 2021, 25 families were selected to receive garden kits to start kitchen gardens at their homes. These kits include a variety of seasonal vegetable seeds, like bitter gourd, pumpkin, cucumber, and spinach. Fruit plants such as lemon and guava are also being provided. Family labor, especially efforts of women, is particularly important in the management of these gardens. Empowered with the same training and support the smallholder farmers received, women will be able to make kitchen gardening an additional source of income and provide nutrient diverse and rich food to their families.
In addition to agricultural training, Krishi Jyoti also helps with water and soil management, ensuring villages have access to critical water supply for farm productivity. Smallholder farmers make up 90% of the world’s farms, but only average 50- 70% of what the top global producers yield. As global food demand increases, it is efforts like these that will be critical to helping eliminate food insecurity – sustainably and responsibly.