IDH partners with Laudes Foundation and WWF India for a regenerative production landscape in Madhya Pradesh, India

IDH has partnered with Laudes Foundation and WWF India, to launch ‘Regenerative Production Landscape: People, Nature, Economy’, a landscape program based on regenerative and restorative farming principles in Madhya Pradesh, India starting with the Chhindwara district.

The partnership will support a locally-driven, multi-stakeholder governance structure to drive market transformation – bringing together companies that commit to sourcing responsibly, community and producer organizations for more inclusive decision-making, government institutions that enable sustainable and green growth; and impact investors and funders who seek scalable solutions that deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals.

“For a transition to a just and regenerative economy, it is important for all stakeholders, producers, businesses, governments, investors and donors, to act as agents of change. Learning from such initiatives will help transition our global initiatives to landscapes and mainstream these sustainable approaches. We believe for system-level shifts to happen, business as usual will just not cut it.” says Anita Chester, Head of Materials at Laudes Foundation.

The program is an innovative jurisdictional model that will foster agricultural ecosystems to create, catalyze and scale a model where:

  • producers grow agri-commodities using natural and regenerative farming principles that restore natural resources and reduce emissions from farming systems; and
  • smallholder farmers and communities thrive, through improved economic stability, enhanced livelihoods and greater participation in decision making
  • businesses are able to source responsibly while creating inclusive supply chain relationships

IDH will bring its Production, Protection and Inclusion integrated landscape approach to the region for long term development.

“ We strongly believe in the proposition of this approach – investing in sustainable production, improving smallholder livelihoods, growing the economy and in return, managing our natural resources sustainably. It is a partnership between the business, community and the government – and one that is locally owned and locally driven. Our plans and approaches start from a vision that sustainable impact will only last when there is a viable business case for farmers, as well as infusion of investment that drives the supply chains –  traders, buyers – in moving sustainability from niche to norm. We are excited about this partnership, to collectively drive transformation in Madhya Pradesh” says Pramit Chanda, Country Director – India, at IDH.

Building a coalition for change

Over the last five years, Laudes Foundation and WWF India have engaged with farmers and farmer groups, private sector and government as they developed farm-centric interventions in Madhya Pradesh, India. IDH brings a track record of convening landscape programs in 16 countries in Asia, South America and Africa – and catalyzing markets and investments for sustainable change at scale. Our vision is to now transition from a farm-centric approach to a contiguous landscape, that leverages a diversified cropping system, enabling farmer communities to earn a decent livelihood and practice farming that heals the environment.

“Conserving natural resources, forests and wildlife is the cornerstone of sustainable development. Forest Agriculture Mosaics that exist in biodiversity rich areas, such as in Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh should be effectively managed through sustainable agriculture practices, strengthening of market linkages and support to farmers to develop economically viable agriculture practices. This platform allows various stakeholders to come together contribute to a regenerative production landscape and strengthening farmer resiliency to shocks in the future” Says Dr. Vidya Soundarajan, Director Ecological Footprint at WWF India

About Chhindwara: pilot district

This phase will be implemented in the Sausar and Mohkhed blocks of the Chhindwara district in Madhya Pradesh, India. The region is ecologically sensitive and is at a great risk of biodiversity and habitat loss. Major crops grown in Chhindwara include cotton, soybean and maize. Other crops include fruits (orange, mangoes and guava) and spices (such as turmeric, chili and black pepper). Working in the region would focus on supporting the smallholder farmers in transitioning towards sustainable farming through capacity development and creating a market value for sustainable produce, while also have a positive impact on the region’s ecology.