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Bringing Water Stewardship to Sugarcane fields 

Water is a critical resource and as a leading nutrition, health and wellness company, it is our responsibility to ensure that we protect the ecosystems in which we operate. We aim to be responsible stewards of water, ensuring it is available and managed sustainably, protecting it through high-profile collaborations, treating the water, educating communities in how to use water efficiently.

Our various initiatives include efforts to reduce, re-use and re-cycle water, across the value chain and with communities, for a sustainable tomorrow. This has been accompanied by our efforts to spread awareness about sustainable usage of water as well as providing clean and safe drinking water. We have further partnered with institutions with expertise in the field of water and have adopted new technologies to avoid wastage across our value chain.

Nestlé India has a water stewardship initiative with AgSRI at the Kabini river basin in Karnataka. The project sets up demonstration farms and trains farmers on ecologically sustainable practices to reduce the agricultural water withdrawal from the catchment area, while improving agricultural productivity. This makes it possible to have more yield and good income by using less seeds, less water and fewer fertilizers besides reducing the number of labourers and expenditure. The SRI and SSI method can be used for cultivating sugarcane, paddy and coffee.

For example, in case of sugarcane, farmers are trained to cultivate using a methodology which is different from the traditional method. Instead of planting sugarcane sets directly, they are taught to plant month old seedlings. The farmers also learn how there will be sufficient sunlight, air and humidity if the sugarcane sets are planted in rows having a width of 4x2 or 5x2 feet.

The farmers are further taught on how the waste of the sugarcane, without being burnt and wasted can be, used to join the soil between the furrows to help preserve the humidity, control the weeds and improve the soil fertility.