Dialogue on responsible sourcing and access to finance for smallholders in India

IDH convened leading organizations working in the sustainability sector in India to discuss challenges and opportunities in ‘Responsible Sourcing’ and ‘Access to Finance for the Smallholders’ in the country.

The round table meeting, co-hosted by IDH and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in India on July 10, 2018, brought together key people from IDH partner organizations and other like-minded organizations to deliberate on the future road map for working towards sustainable development of the smallholder farmers in the country and bringing in responsible sourcing as a key element in supply chain of the domestic as well as international organizations that are sourcing from India.

Opening the discussions, Ambassador for Netherlands to India H.E. Alphonsus Stoelinga, said, “The Embassy is working towards promoting trade between India and the Netherlands and wants to work towards creating sustainable supply chains. Commitment in sustainable trade lies in shared challenges and together we can harness forces of globalization to create better life for all”.

Setting the tone for the discussions, IDH Executive Director Joost Oorthuizen said, “India is a key country for IDH. We already have a large footprint in India with cotton and tea as some of our largest programs and have been working with the smallholder farmers in the country for a long time. We have now started working on innovating our approach on how to impact smallholders and engaging private sector in a business model in doing it”.

Vijay Thallam, Chief Executive Officer – Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RySS), spoke about the need to make agriculture sustainable for the coming generations and informed about RySS’ Zero Budget Natural Farming program in Andhra Pradesh, India. He mentioned that minimal inputs recommended under the program results in increased soil fertility and overall improved income for the farmers.

The event was also attended by Arunabha Ghosh, CEO – Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW); Murli Dhar – Associate Director, WWF-India; D K Manavalan – Executive Director, Action for Food Production (AFPRO); Rasha Omar – Country Programme Manager, IFAD; Baskar Reddy – Execcutive Director, Syngenta Foundation India; Julie Reviere – Country Director, GIZ India; Azhar Tambuwala – Director, Sahyadri Farms; Kamal Seth – India Representative, Rountable on Sustainable Palm Oil; Rijit Sengupta – Chief Operating Officer, Centre for Responsible Business; Arun Sood – Corporate Affairs Head, Louis Dreyfus India and Arvind Rewal – Regional Director (South Asia), CottonConnect.