National Farmers Day: Vedanta Aluminium commits to bolstering agricultural infrastructure across rural India

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Over 10,000 farmers have benefitted from the company’s initiatives,which are focused on nurturing sustainable farming practices and economic empowerment

Bhubaneswar, 23rdDecember 2023:On National Farmers Day, Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest producer of aluminium,reiterates its commitment to creating wider avenues in socio-economic growth for the advancement of India’s rural communities. The company is actively engaging with the farming community through several initiatives designed to ensure dignified livelihoods, enhance knowledge of farming techniques, boost sustainable agriculture practices and build circular economy.Over 10,000 farmers have benefitted from these efforts, which are catalysing positive transformation among rural communities in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

Recognizing the pivotal role farmers play in the nation’s holistic progress, the company is also augmenting the infrastructure available to the members of the farming community through grassroot initiatives such as the Jeevika Samridhhi program deployed at Jharsuguda, Odisha and the Mor Jal Mor Maati initiative in Korba, Chhattisgarh. In addition, Vedanta Aluminium has also conducted trial runs of biodiesel, which helps create additional revenue for farmers as it is commonly derived from organic matter such as crop residue.These initiatives are strategically designed in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly ‘No Poverty’ (SDG 1), ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’ (SDG 8), ‘Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure’ (SDG 9), and ‘Climate Action’ (SDG 13).

The Jeevika Samridhhiprogram has been deployed in the vicinity of Vedanta Aluminium’s mega aluminium operations in Jharsuguda, Odisha. It aims to introduce small-scale farmers to more efficient methods of farming. The third phase of the project was launched recently, cumulativelyimpactingnearly1000 rural householdsthrough a focus on climate-smart practices and integrated organic farming practices for enhanced agricultural yield.

The Mor Jal Mor Maati initiative has been implemented by BALCO, India’s iconic aluminium producer based in Korba, Chhattisgarh, to help revolutionizefarming inits nearby communities. The project has reached a total of 32 villages and positively impacted the lives of over 3600farmers.  Nearly 30% of these farmers constitute ayoungdemographic of 18-35 years, encouraging youths to embrace farming as a viable profession. It centres on advancing sustainable and contemporary agricultural practices, improving water management practicesby constructing and renovating water structures, endorsing horticulture and non-timber forest produce initiatives, and institutionalizing farming practices through a Farmer Producer Organization. Additionally, the project includes establishing a dedicated Vedanta Agriculture Resource Centre equipped with training and demonstration fields for farmers.

Furthermore, at its Lanjigarh alumina refinery in Odisha, the company has successfully conducted trial runs for using biodiesel as asustainablefuel alternative for commercial vehicles. It willfoster theproductive cultivation of biofuel feedstocksanda sustainable market for biofuel crops. The company has also integrated biomass briquettes made from agricultural residue as per the guidelines of Ministry of Power, Government of India into its energy mix. It will help curb the burning of agricultural residue which has a serious negative impact on the environment. Such initiatives help augmentthe income of farmers through the creation ofadditional revenue streams, and thereby circular economy.

Moreover, the company is playing a pivotal role in establishing crucial infrastructure such as tubewells, borewells, ponds, and percolation tanks, ensuring that local communities have access to water round the year for both household and irrigation purposes. In FY23 alone, Vedanta Aluminium restored over 40 water bodies near its operations. These efforts have been enabled by a remarkable 45% surge in the company’s community investments in FY23 compared to the FY21 baseline.

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