MIL's role in PPPs
- Provide high-yielding hybrid maize seeds, customized to the respective geographies and agronomic conditions in each state
- Assist in the distribution process to beneficiaries identified by the Government
- Provide advice to farmers from sowing to harvest; guidance on post harvest care, soil testing and critical project management (where mandated)
- Facilitate Knowledge Sharing Sessions for Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the State Agriculture University
- Enable user-industry linkages through maize productivity workshops and procurement facilitation
Public Private Partnerships
India is now one of the fastest growing emerging economies of the world, with a targeted annual growth rate of over 8%. For the economy to grow at this pace, there is a strong need to upgrade the country's infrastructure services. Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) have been recognized as one of the most effective mechanisms to do this.
There is a scope to leverage PPPs as a relevant vehicle in the agriculture sector as well. Enhanced yield and productivity is a crucial need, with India still battling food insecurity and poverty. Technology, better inputs and improved farming practices can make this possible. Over the past 60 years, Indian agriculture has recorded an average growth rate of 2.7% per year, making it the slowest growing sector. That we have not yet succeeded in consistently touching 4% growth as targeted in the recent Five-Year Plans indicates the challenges we face in agriculture. Thus agriculture is a key sector for research, investment and development. There is an urgent need to work together to bring innovations via partnerships between the private and public sector, farmers and government to meet India's agriculture needs through new technology and intervention models.
Several partnerships have already been developed between the public and private sectors with the objective of achieving these goals. MIL is an important stakeholder in the agriculture PPP space, through its multiple partnerships with State Governments. We have reached out to more than 9 lac farmers through PPPs alone and have helped improve yields and rural incomes significantly in the geographies these partnerships have been implemented.
Many farmer beneficiaries of these PPPs who hitherto barely managed to make ends meet, are now able to produce more, get fair returns for their produce in the markets and are realizing their aspiration for a better life. Their stories confirm the success and far reaching benefits of these partnerships.
PPP between the Government of Rajasthan and MIL which aims at improving economic self-sufficiency of tribal maize farmers by enhancing maize yields and incomes in five districts; Banswara, Dungarpur, Udaipur, Pratapgarh and Sirohi. While Rajasthan constitutes 15% of India's total maize acreage, its maize yields are 30% below India's average maize yields. The majority of maize farmers are small or marginal in nature with minimal resources and lack access to appropriate inputs. MIL worked together with the Government and NGOs on-ground to help implement and operationalize this partnership.
The success of Project Golden Rays, Rajasthan paved the way for a similar project in Odisha. Maize is mostly grown in tribal districts in Odisha, during the Kharif season in un-irrigated uplands. In view of rising commodity prices, farmers prefer maize as one of the key cash crops.
Poor management practices and only marginal land growing high-yielding hybrid maize seeds resulted in sub-optimal yields compared to other states. Last Kharif season, the Government of Odisha undertook Project Golden Rays in 30,000 hectares in the state and partnered with MIL for the tribal districts of Bolangir, Kalahandi, Nayagarh, Nuapada and Khurda covering 8,000 hectares. By means of the project, farmers had access to the highyielding hybrid maize seeds and training on improved agronomic practices. As a result, maize farmers in Odisha were able to increase yields and improve their quality of life through enhanced incomes.
These models are now being widely adapted and adopted by various state governments in partnership with different private sector companies and seed corporations for the benefit of marginal and resource poor farmers.