S M Sehgal Foundation received the FICCI Sustainable Agriculture Award 2021 (second place) in the category Climate Resilient Agriculture Development in an event held at FICCI House, Tansen Marg, New Delhi today. Anjali Godyal, chief development officer, and Pooja O. Murada, principal lead, Outreach for Development, Sehgal Foundation, received the award.
FICCI Sustainable Agriculture Awards were coupled with a special session with the Government held at FICCI House on November 18, following a two-day virtual Agri Summit: Envisioning Smart & Sustainable Agriculture. YES Bank was the knowledge partner in this initiative. A major component of the Summit was the felicitation of Excellence Awards to the agribusinesses/organizations who have done significant levels of on-ground interventions in sustainable agriculture development.
The Agriculture Development program at S M Sehgal Foundation promotes sustainable livelihoods by building the capacities of farmers, including women producers, on improved agricultural practices and new technologies that increase crop yields, conserve water, and improve soil fertility. The team works with smallholder farmers in rain-fed and irrigated areas to facilitate the adoption of improved and advanced agricultural practices that include soil health management, crop production management, input-use efficiency, small farm mechanization, water-efficient irrigation techniques, horticultural development, livestock management, and the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in agriculture.
The Agriculture Development team undertakes a two-pronged approach for building resilience in agriculture and creating mechanisms to cope with or adapt to the effect of climate change in agriculture. The team works with farmers to promote water use efficiency in agriculture, soil health and nutrient management, renewable energy, appropriate farm machinery, protected cultivation, and salt tolerant varieties of cereal and vegetable crops. Key interventions facilitated by Sehgal Foundation that build climate resilience are soil health, Promoting salinity-tolerant crops, water-saving agricultural techniques, promotion of renewable energy, and greenhouse for crops.
Active in 11 states across India, the agricultural interventions have immense scope for scalability and many farmers have adopted and sustained the practices beyond the project period completion. Farmer capacity building and training have created a demand for information about better agronomic practices to make agriculture rewarding and have put farmers at ease to use the technologies. Technological interventions have been readily adopted by farmers in project areas and linkages with various institutions help sustain the information flow for farmers to adopt new technological interventions from time to time.