Arkema Reports that 7,000 farmers are now certified by ‘Pragati,’ the World’s First Sustainable Castor Bean Program

February 6, 2024 | by magnews24.com

Arkema and its partners have reported that ‘Pragati,’ the world’s first sustainable castor bean program has seen substantial growth since its implementation in 2016. Hydrogenated castor oil is a multipurpose ingredient for many industrial applications. It is an essential additive due to its ability to reduce atmospheric moisture pick-up during handling and mixing. It is used for many adhesive and sealant applications. Deodorized castor oil is used as a drying agent in paints, varnishes, hard-finish coatings, printing inks, and oilcloth manufacturing.

Over 7,000 farmers are now certified by the program. Individual farmer yield has increased substantially. Over 7,000 hectares of generally semi-arid land are now repeatedly farmed according to the SuCCESS sustainability code. Arkema, BASF, Jayant Agro-Organics, and implementation partner Solidaridad, have committed to Phase 3 of Pragati, from 2023-2026. The next phase of the project will continue to support sustainable farming with a special focus on increased representation of women in agriculture, and improved water management techniques in the farming communities.

Compared to the previous year, water consumption has dropped by approximately 21% in the demo plots where accurate measurement and control are in place. 7,000 safety kits and crop protection product boxes have been distributed free of charge.

More than 100 medical camps organized in all project villages this year successfully conducted health monitoring of 8,500+ farmers, workers, and their family members, of which 65% were farmers enrolled in the Pragati program. Farmers from more than 100 villages in North Gujarat now participate in the program.

This year, more than 380 capacity-building training sessions were held with farmers and over 475 lead farmers have been identified and trained to guide certified farmer groups.

“Since my engagement with the Pragati program, I have adopted sustainable practices and diversified my agricultural practices which have improved my yield and income. The support and guidance provided in the Pragati program have played a crucial role in my adoption and successful implementation of new agricultural techniques, such as vermicompost,” said castor farmer Jayeshbhai Ramjibhai Mujat.

To learn more, visit www.arkema.com.

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