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Corporate Social Responsibility: Win-win Propositions for Communities, Corporates and Agriculture

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This book examines the design and implementation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in rural areas, based on collaboration between well-known corporates and an international research organization. Researchers used various scientific tools and methods to enhance rural livelihoods and improve sustainable natural resources management. Including three chapters covering the philosophy and practices of CSR, this book covers emerging policies and their implications in India. Eight case studies based on actual practices explore climate-resilient agriculture, water footprint, improving livelihoods, diversification of crop pattern, enhancing crop productivity, and sustainable development in low rainfall regions. Five further chapters cover soil health improvement, improving rural wastewater management and enhancing rural livelihoods, based on various case studies. The book offers macro and micro perspectives of CSR work and its critical benefits to both community and natural resources.

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1 Corporate Social Responsibility in India: Philosophy, Policy and Practice

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1

Corporate Social Responsibility in India: Philosophy, Policy and Practice

K.V. Raju* and Suhas P. Wani

International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics,

Patancheru, India

1.1 Introduction

1.1.1 Philosophy

The world is changing, and by dimensions and at a pace never seen in the past. Consumers are evaluating products and services not only in terms of functionality and technology but also whether the producer is paying adequate attention to the environment and the community.

Social media allows for quick person-to-person dissemination of data and ‘experience’, and for a positive or negative build-up, which far exceeds the power of mass-media-based inferences.

Despite these great improvements, the latent potential of a nation of more than a billion people continues to be stymied by developmental barriers. India’s development goals are immense, and the challenges that lie ahead can only be overcome with the efforts of every stakeholder in the ecosystem. Every giver, no matter how large or small the contribution, plays a vital role in helping India move closer towards its development goals. It is only when every giver reaches his or her full potential that the billion people will achieve their goals.

 

2 A Holistic Approach for Achieving Impact through CSR

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A Holistic Approach for

Achieving Impact through CSR

Suhas P. Wani,* Girish Chander and Kaushal K. Garg

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics,

Patancheru, India

Abstract

Food and nutritional security of projected population of 9.7 billion globally and 1.7 billion in India by 2050 is the major challenge of the 21st century. Alongside the challenge is to improve farmers’ income and upgrade agriculture as a business to make it attractive to the youth and generate livelihood options through value chain, as 55% of the population in India is dependent on agriculture and allied sectors. Holistic solutions are needed to effectively address the issues of increasing land degradation, water scarcity and threat of climate change to bring in sustainable system intensification and diversification to high-yielding, climate-smart and high-value crops. There is a need to focus on enhancing system productivity through crops and livestock and services in a holistic manner rather than crops alone. In spite of availability of game-changing technologies, the farms are far from realizing the productivity potential mainly due to ineffective delivery of knowledge and scientific solutions. This necessitates the need to strengthen the ‘Science of Delivery’ of holistic solutions to farmers. Capacity building of farmers involving traditional and modern tools like information and communication technology, collectivization as producer organization, on-farm mechanization and infrastructure development for handling, storage and transport is the key to develop/promote significant control measures in production and effective linkages with the markets.

 

3 Building Soil Health, Improving Carbon Footprint and Minimizing Greenhouse Gas Emissions through CSR

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Building Soil Health,

Improving Carbon Footprint and Minimizing Greenhouse

Gas Emissions through CSR

Girish Chander,* Suhas P. Wani, G. Pardhasaradhi,

Mukund D. Patil and A.N. Rao

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics,

Patancheru, India

Abstract

Unabated soil degradation due to low soil organic carbon (C) levels, multiple nutrient deficiencies including micro- and secondary nutrients, rising salinity and soil loss due to erosion jeopardizes food security of swiftly rising global population projected to be 9.7 billion by 2050. Soils also play a major role in global C cycling and huge

C sequestration potential offers opportunities for mitigating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.

The lessons learnt from CSR pilot and scaling-up initiatives indicated significant productivity benefits with soil health mapping-based management. The linkages of soil health and food quality are documented. Soil mapping-based management increased C sequestration with higher proportion of biomass C and enhanced uptake and use efficiency of nitrogen fertilizers, and thereby reducing losses through runoff and gaseous emissions.

 

4 CSR and Climate-resilient Agriculture – A JSW Case Study

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CSR and Climate-resilient

Agriculture – A JSW Case

Study

Kiran J. Petare,* A.V.R. Kesava Rao, Mukund D. Patil,

Suhas P. Wani, R. Sudi and K. Srinivas

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics,

Patancheru, India

Abstract

The semi-arid tropics being dominant region is primarily agrarian with rainfed traditional agricultural production systems. Jawhar is a tribal block in Maharashtra, India characterized by high rainfall, water scarcity, degraded soils and low crop productivity. ICRISAT in collaboration with JSW has initiated agricultural interventions with watershed approach. Over a two-year period, the project has demonstrated various activities to build the resilience against climate change to cope with varying climatic risks and to improve livelihoods. Conservation of available resources through various measures was carried out with active community participation. Agriculture is the main source of livelihood of the community. Soil health management, rainwater harvesting, soil conservation, promotion of improved cultivars, introduction of new crops (crop diversification), income-generating activities and promotion of agronomic practices were the major interventions carried out in the project villages.

 

5 Improving Livelihoods through Watershed Interventions: A Case Study of SABMiller India Project

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Improving Livelihoods through

Watershed Interventions:

A Case Study of SABMiller

India Project

Rajesh Nune,* Ch. Srinivasa Rao, R. Sudi, Suhas P. Wani,

Kaushal K. Garg and D.S. Prasad Rao

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics,

Patancheru, India

Abstract

Water plays an important role in the semi-arid tropical region to address water scarcity, land degradation, and crop and livestock productivity which improves the rural livelihood system. The Charminar Breweries (formerly

SABMiller, and since merged with AB InBev) in Sangareddy district, Telangana, India has adopted an integrated approach to address the above issues in nearby villages of the plant under corporate social responsibility initiative between 2009 and 2017 in a phased manner. The major interventions implemented in the project focused on rainwater harvesting, productivity enhancement through soil test-based fertilizer application, improved crop cultivars, enriching soil organic carbon and improved agronomic practices. Further, livestock productivity was addressed by promoting spent malt (a by-product of the brewing industry, rich in carbohydrate, protein and other minerals) and improved breeding through artificial insemination. Various ex-situ interventions for water management enabled harvesting of nearly 150,000 m3 water every year and facilitated groundwater recharge, which resulted in increased water table of 0.5–1 ft across the geographical extent of nearly 7000 ha. Further, productivity interventions enhanced crop yield and cropping intensity by 30–50% compared to baseline situation. The livestock interventions enhanced milk yield by 1–2 l/day/animal. The watershed programme also introduced various income-generating activities for women and landless such as distribution of spent malt as animal feed, kitchen garden, vermicomposting and nursery raising. The programme has benefited nearly 5000 households directly or indirectly and increased household income by ₹10,000 to ₹25,000 per annum and contributed significantly towards improving rural livelihood along with strengthening various environmental services.

 

6 Improved Livelihoods – A Case Study from Asian Paints Limited

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Improved Livelihoods –

A Case Study from Asian

Paints Limited

Mukund D. Patil,* Suhas P. Wani, Kaushal K. Garg and

Rajesh Nune

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics,

Patancheru, India

Abstract

Asian Paints Limited and International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) c­ ollaborated to improve rural livelihoods through integrated watershed development programme. Six villages in Patancheru mandal of Medak district, Telangana, India covering an area of 7143 ha were selected in consultation with the local community for Asian Paints Limited–ICRISAT watershed. The prime mitigation strategy for addressing water scarcity was initiated in the project by rainwater harvesting, efficient use of available water resources and recycling of grey water. Science-led interventions including soil test-based nutrient management, and improved crop cultivars and management practices were introduced for improving crop productivity. Rainwater harvesting structures of a total water storage capacity of 34,000 m3 were utilized for groundwater recharge. Based on the observation, estimated groundwater recharge due to check-dams with total storage capacity of 12,700 m3

 

7 Improving Water Availability and Diversification of Cropping Systems in Pilot Villages of North and Southern India

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Improving Water Availability and Diversification of Cropping

Systems in Pilot Villages of

North and Southern India

Kaushal K. Garg,1* Ramesh Singh,2 Suhas P. Wani,1

O.P. Chaturvedi,2 Inder Dev,2 Mukund D. Patil,1

R. Sudi1 and Anand K. Singh1,2

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru,

India; 2Central Agroforestry Research Institute (ICAR), Jhansi, India

1

Abstract

Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and southeastern region of Karnataka (e.g. Kolar) are hot spots of poverty located in the semi-arid tropics. These regions are vulnerable to climate change and experience water scarcity and land degradation. Despite having moderate to good rainfall (700–850 mm), freshwater availability in these areas are declining due to over-extraction, poor groundwater recharge and change in land use. With realization of the importance of watershed development programme, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) along with national partners (ICAR – Central Agroforestry Research Institute (CAFRI), Jhansi), NGO (MYRADA), district administration, state governments and local community started developing a model watershed with support of

 

8 Scaling-up of Science-led Development – Sir Dorabji Tata Trust Initiative

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Scaling-up of Science-led

Development – Sir Dorabji

Tata Trust Initiative

Girish Chander,* P. Pathak, Suhas P. Wani,

G. Pardhasaradhi and S.K. Dasgupta

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics,

Patancheru, India

Abstract

Soil health mapping in Sir Dorabji Tata Trust-supported initiative across 16 districts of Madhya Pradesh and

Rajasthan, India showed widespread deficiencies of sulfur, boron, zinc and phosphorus. Soil test-based balanced nutrient management recorded yield benefit of 10–40%, while the integrated nutrient approach recorded still higher yield up to 20–50% along with 25–50% saving in chemical fertilizers through promotion of on-farm vermicomposting. Maximum yield advantage (90–200%) was realized with improved varieties and nutrient management. Other advantages included food/fodder nutrition, rainwater use efficiency, more food per kg of nitrogen or phosphorus, and residual benefits of micro/secondary nutrients and vermicompost. Promoting landform management enabled farmers to cultivate rainy season fallows and harvest 1270–1700 kg/ha soybean.

 

9 Increasing Agricultural Productivity of Farming Systems in Parts of Central India – Sir Ratan Tata Trust Initiative

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Increasing Agricultural

Productivity of Farming

Systems in Parts of Central

India – Sir Ratan Tata Trust

Initiative

Gajanan L. Sawargaonkar,* Girish Chander, Suhas P.

Wani, S.K. Dasgupta and G. Pardhasaradhi

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics,

Patancheru, India

Abstract

Soil health mapping was adopted as entry point activity in the initiative supported by Sir Ratan Tata Trust in

Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh states of India which emphasized on developing soil test-based fertilizer recommendations at block level. In Jharkhand, yield benefit with balanced nutrition was 27–44% in paddy, groundnut and maize with benefit–cost (BC) ratio varying from 7.36 to 12.0. In Madhya Pradesh, balanced nutrition increased crop productivity by 11–57% in crops like soybean, paddy, green gram, black gram and groundnut with BC ratio of 1.97 to 9.35. Water harvesting through farm ponds (~500) helped in supplemental irrigation during critical crop stages besides serving as reservoir for fish cultivation. Efforts were made to promote off-season cultivation of vegetables, crop intensification, vermicompost units (~200) and seed bank in pilot villages and capacity development was carried out for ~15,000 farmers through direct demonstrations and around 2–3 times more through field days.

 

10 Sustainable Development of Fragile Low-rainfall Regions – Power Grid Corporation of India Initiative

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Sustainable Development of Fragile Low-rainfall

Regions – Power Grid

Corporation of India Initiative

Prabhakar Pathak,* R. Sudi, Suhas P. Wani, Aviraj

Datta and Nagaraju Budama

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics,

Patancheru, India

Abstract

Rainfed agriculture in low-rainfall areas of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka is characterized by high risks from drought, degraded natural resources and pervasive poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition. Under corporate social responsibility, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited, Gurugram, Haryana has been supporting International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru, Telangana in implementing farmer-centric watershed management in Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh and Vijayapura district, Karnataka for improving rural livelihoods and reducing degradation of natural resources. This innovative model of watershed management uses holistic approach with science-led development in participatory mode with farmers. The watershed interventions have increased water availability by 25–30%, increased irrigated area by 15–25%, improved cropping intensity by 20–30%, increased crop yields by 15–35%, increased area under high-value crops by 10–15%, increased income, improved livelihoods and reduced runoff, soil loss and environment degradation. Innovative low-cost village-based wastewater treatment units were established at benchmark watersheds to increase the water availability for irrigation and improve the surface and groundwater quality.

 

11 Farmer-centric Integrated Water Management for Improving Livelihoods – A Case Study of Rural Electrification Corporation Limited

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Farmer-centric Integrated Water

Management for Improving

Livelihoods – A Case Study of Rural Electrification

Corporation Limited

R. Sudi,* Girish Chander, Suhas P. Wani and G. Pardhasaradhi

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics,

Patancheru, India

Abstract

Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (RECL) supported an ICRISAT-led consortium to establish two watershed learning sites in Penukonda mandal (4 villages, 3150 ha of cultivated land and home to 8700 people) of

Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh and Wanaparthy mandal (4 villages, 3968 ha of cultivated land and home to 11,726 people) in the Mahabubnagar district of Telangana. The community and farm-based rainwater conservation have created a net storage capacity of about 18,000 m3 with total conservation of about 50,000 m3/year of surface runoff water in Anantapur watershed, and 27,000 m3 storage capacity with conservation of about

54,000 m3/year of surface runoff water in Mahabubnagar watershed. Soil health improvement with soil testbased addition of macro- and micronutrients and carbon building, and varietal replacements are promoted with farmers in the watershed. The science-led management has resulted in increasing and sustaining crop and livestock productivity and diversification leading to increased incomes to farmers. The RECL–ICRISAT watershed sites have provided a proof of concept and a good learning site for holistic solutions to harness the system productivity and strengthening of livelihood.

 

12 Improving Rural Wastewater Management

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Improving Rural Wastewater

Management

Aviraj Datta,* Mukund Patil and Suhas P. Wani

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics,

Patancheru, India

Abstract

Improved sanitation and hygiene through proper wastewater management is critical for sustainable growth of rural communities. Traditional wastewater treatment technologies experience low penetration in the resource-­ poor semi-arid tropical villages with limited or no access to good quality electricity and skilled supervision. The substandard wastewater treatment efficiencies of traditional effluent treatment plants, even in the urban centres, are testimony of their unviability in rural India. Constructed wetland (CW) is an age-old, low-cost, decentralized wastewater treatment technology. The absence of heavy metal and other xenobiotics in rural grey water highlights their reuse potential for growing jute, flower, teak plantation, etc. Lack of field-scale study with real wastewater thus far has made policy makers and professionals working in the sanitation sector sceptic about the long-term reliability of CWs with respect to wastewater treatment efficiencies. This chapter is an attempt to present the potential and real-life challenges of CW implementation.

 

13 Learnings and a Way Forward

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Learnings and a Way Forward

Suhas P. Wani* and K.V. Raju

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics,

Patancheru, India

13.1 Introduction

The mission of International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is ‘to reduce poverty, malnutrition, hunger and environmental degradation in the dryland tropics’.

The semi-arid tropics is a hot spot of poverty and malnutrition, as 850 million poor live in the region. In particular, the Indian subcontinent is a hot spot of malnutrition recording 3 million malnourished children below 5 years of age.

This region is also water-scarce as the annual evapotranspiration demand is far higher than the available water in the region. As a result, agriculture largely depends on monsoonal rains and per capita availability of water particularly in India has declined from 5177 m3 in 1951 to

1450 m3 in 2015. Similar is the case for arable land availability, which is 0.11 ha per capita (in

 

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