Tata Steel’s interventions in agriculture are aimed at stimulating economic growth and development of the farming community.
In its effort to develop opportunities for sustainable livelihoods, Tata Steel undertakes various agriculture development initiatives. The Company works with locals in the rural and semi-urban areas to harness the available skills and resources and improve agricultural productivity of their lands. The primary objectives of these interventions are improvement of productivity and crop yield, dry land farming, wasteland development and horticulture, enhancing irrigation facilities, and enhancing capacities of rural communities through skill-based trainings in farming techniques. Some of the major initiatives taken by Tata Steel in this direction are:
- Based on the initial successes in FY 2012-13, SRI (System of Rice Intensification) method of paddy cultivation was rolled out in more than 1100 acres of land, benefitting over 2000 farmers across locations in 2013-14. As a result of SRI, the paddy productivity has gone up from 0.5-0.6 tonnes/acre in the year 2004-05 to around 2.5 tonnes per acre.
- In 2013-14, the dry land farming project in collaboration with International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropic (ICRISAT), Hyderabad, developed more than 200 acres of land resulting in increased yields.
- In addition, more than 1000 acres of wasteland has been developed benefiting more than 200 farmers. Till date more than 16000 acres of wasteland have been brought under cashew, mango and lemon plantations in partnership with National Horticulture Mission.
- Also, this year, 152 irrigation structures including lift irrigation facilities, creation/renovation of ponds, etc. have been created in Jharkhand and Odisha. Over the years, Tata Steel has facilitated creation of several water harvesting structures, irrigating more than 5000 acres of land, benefiting 6000 farmers across locations.