to India’s Inclusive Growth
Monsanto India Limited (MIL) is a subsidiary of Monsanto Company USA. We are present in India since 1949 and are committed to improve farmer’s lives by producing more from their land and conserving more of the natural resources. We enrich farmers’ lives using breeding technology and techniques, advanced research and development, extensive agronomic practices and on-farm technology development. We provide advisory services to farmers on better agronomic practices to improve crop yields and quality through Monsanto Farm AgVisory Services (MFAS). We partner with various state governments, agricultural universities and NGO’s to provide farmers necessary support for successful harvest.
Monsanto’s presence in India spans over four decades. We provide integrated agricultural solutions to the farmers to improve productivity and operational excellence. Social Responsibility is an integral part of Monsanto and our CSR Vision is to improve lives by partnering with communities to deliver lasting solutions. We are committed to making a difference to the lives of all the people we touch through our products, our efforts in the field or through our philanthropic activities.
Prior to the Companies Act, Monsanto India CSR programs were executed utilizing “Monsanto Fund” the global philanthropic arm of Monsanto. Instituted in 1964, the focus has been on strengthening farming communities and the society we live in by providing basic education and meeting critical basic amenities. We have partnered with nine NGOs to execute socially relevant projects in the areas of education, providing safe drinking water, enabling a sustained livelihood, infrastructure for irrigation and women empowerment.
In compliance with the global CSR vision and to align our efforts with the Companies Act 2013, we engaged with KPMG to assess and evaluate the needs of the communities. The locational analysis based on Human Development Index and business interest to Monsanto provided us the key geographical regions and thematic areas to focus on. The three thematic areas that emerged from the analysis are Sustainable Agriculture, Health and Nutrition and Education with the beneficiaries being farmers, women and children. Our flagship programs “SHARE” and “DISHA” are designed around these thematic areas.
SHARE (Sustainable Harvests – Agriculture, Resources and Environment) focuses on making agriculture output sustainable, provides additional livelihood opportunities and improves household income for small and marginal farmers. The efforts under this program focus on providing farmers access to better information and exposure to advanced agronomic practices.
DISHA covers our efforts in the Health, Nutrition and Education areas focused on women and children in the rural communities. The projects under this program aim to impact the communities by providing access to drinking water through supply and water conservation efforts, sanitation facilities and education support.
On the education front, our efforts are aimed at providing impetus to early childhood education and helping improve the capabilities of teachers. India has 400 million children of which 35 million in the age group 6 – 14 years do not attend school. While enrolment is about 80%, attendance in school is only 65%. Some of the reasons for children dropping out of school are access to education coupled with hunger. To address these challenges, we work through our partners to provide reading material, infrastructure and support the government’s mid-day meal program.
In the Katihar region of Bihar, Monsanto partnered with “Deshkal Society”, across 193 government primary schools benefiting over 61,000 children and 250 teachers. Through the interventions, attendance in schools improved from 59 to 73% and drop-out rate reduced from 40 to 26%. Reading proficiency increased from 70 to 88% while arithmetic ability went up from 88 to 97%. In addition, collaborative efforts fostered effective school community engagement and parents’ involvement in their childrens’ education. School Education Committees have been constituted in 95% of the schools and regular parent teacher meetings are held. Teachers are constantly trained on newer teaching techniques to effectively impart knowledge to the children and make learning fun. We continue to work with Deshkal in Kirtiyanand Nagar block of Purnia district in Bihar covering 165 primary and upper primary schools, with 48,000 students and 300 teachers to improve schooling outcomes and learning achievement. In the last couple of years of this project, enrolment in schools is 100% and retention rate 80%. Sanitation facilities have been provided in 80% of the schools and midday meals regularized in 90% of the schools. The aim is to reach 100% in the next one year.
We have worked with “Sikshana Foundation” across 60 schools in Karnataka benefitting 7500 primary school children. New learning techniques were adopted to enable reaching a target of 96% for reading proficiency and 88% for arithmetic ability. The unlimited writing material provided increased language proficiency and speed of writing. The schools where interventions were implemented boast of results better than the state average in Mathematics and Kannada.
In Maharashtra, in partnership with “Room to Read” eight primary school libraries have been established and 19,000+ books provided thereby creating learning opportunity for 4000+ children to promote positive reading behavior, enhance reading ability, language proficiency and overall literacy. Child friendly books are available for all levels of children which keeps them motivated. The in-class teaching aids makes learning more interesting and impactful.
To facilitate increased attendance in school we have partnered with “AkshayaPatra Foundation” and ensured nutritious midday meals to 37500 children across the states of Orissa, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh and 22500 children across Gujarat and Rajasthan. Keeping in view that proper hygiene ensures better health, children have been sensitized on hygiene and safe hand washing practices. Personal hygiene kits containing tooth brush, paste, tongue cleaner, soap, shampoo, hair oil, comb, nail-cutter and handkerchief have been distributed to 45000 children.
Our interventions in education will provide children access to nutritious meals, sanitation facilities, increase attendance rate in schools and enhance reading proficiency leading to improved literacy levels thus helping them grow up to be productive citizens.
Through our CSR programs, we strive to improve lives by collaborating with the communities to deliver sustainable solutions. We partner with various NGOs to execute our projects and influence a positive change in the lives of the communities. We remain committed to improving the lives of communities to deliver sustainable solutions.