11 June 2018
Hong Kong SAR

Over 1,000 Indian Farmers Successfully Complete the World’s First Sustainable Castor Bean Program

  • Arkema, BASF, Jayant Agro-Organics, and Solidaridad join forces with the mission of enabling sustainable castor bean production in India

Mumbai, India – June 11, 2018 – Leading chemical companies have empowered 1,019 Indian farmers in their journey to create a framework for sustainable castor bean production. Arkema, a global leader in specialty chemicals and advanced materials; BASF, the world’s leading chemical company; Jayant Agro-Organics Ltd., a pioneer in castor oil based chemicals in India, and Solidaridad, an international civil society organization, came together for Project ‘Pragati’ (Hindi word for progress). With this first-of-its-kind initiative globally, the companies are developing a sustainable castor framework titled ‘SuCCESS’ (Sustainable Castor Caring for Environmental & Social Standards). On May 2nd, 2018, the first 10 producer groups, representing the 1,019 castor farmers were formally awarded their certificates for their tremendous achievements in improving the sustainability of their farming practices.

A baseline survey of more than 1,000 castor farmers was conducted in 2016 on issues relating to their productivity, social impact, environment, health and safety. Based on the initial findings, Project Pragati was launched in May 2016 in Gujarat, India as this region produces nearly 70% of the world’s supply of castor beans. The project aims to address these issues with the development of a sustainability framework designed to evaluate the social, economic, agronomic, and environmental performance of the Indian castor farmers.

Key outcomes of the project to date:

  • A yield improvement of 55% vs the 2016 baseline
  • Safety kits and waste storage drums distributed to all 2,700 participating farmers
  • More than 1,000 hours of classroom training
  • Completion of soil and water tests across 41 villages
  • Health camps set up in 26 villages
  • Five demo plots created for better agricultural practices field demonstration
  • More than 2,000 hectares of castor farming are now in accordance with the project framework

Since its launch, Project Pragati has led to intensive farmer engagement and adoption of best agricultural practices within the castor community. These results have been audited by independent third-party inspection agencies. To date, over 2,700 farmers have been trained by the project and 1,019 farmers have now been successfully certified and recognized under the project.

By educating, and disseminating best agricultural and environmental practices, Project Pragati, enables farmers to access the full benefits of productivity through better practices. In addition, aids in creating awareness and incentivizes them to take responsibility towards health, environment, safety and society.

While the project continues to positively impact the farming community, the founders are now considering opening the project for participation to all interested stakeholders to enhance sustainability for the castor industry within the next 12 months.

For more information on the sustainable castor project, please contact info@castorsuccess.org

About BASF in India

BASF has successfully partnered India’s progress for more than 125 years, with all global businesses maintaining a presence in India today, except for Oil & Gas. At the end of 2017, BASF in India had 2,313 employees at 11 production sites and at offices throughout the country, as well as at its Innovation Campus Mumbai and at R&D centers in Mangalore. In 2017, BASF registered sales of approximately €1.3 billion to customers in India. Further information is available on the Internet at www.basf.com/in.

About BASF

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The more than 115,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of €64.5 billion in 2017. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at www.basf.com.

Deepti Shetty
News Release

News Release

Arkema, BASF, Jayant Agro-Organics, and Solidaridad join forces with the mission of enabling sustainable castor bean production in India.

Arkema, BASF, Jayant Agro-Organics, and Solidaridad join forces with the mission of enabling sustainable castor bean production in India.

Last Update 27 November 2018