CropLife India has a long history of creating awareness and building capacity on sustainable practices among various stakeholders including farmers, agri-input retailers, agricultural extension staff and several NGOs. Through these initiatives, CropLife India is demonstrating its sustained commitment to promote stewardship as the key driver for a resilient, sustainable and a profitable food and agribusiness sector in India.

What is Crop Protection Stewardship?
In crop protection products, commonly referred to as pesticides, which include chemical pesticides, stewardship is a holistic product life-cycle approach whereby their benefits are maximized through responsible and judicious use while risks are minimized through educating the users against indiscriminate and incorrect usage.

Why and how crop protection stewardship becomes most relevant & important for the food chain?

For the farmers: What happens in the farms impacts the entire food chain and goes even further. For example, indiscriminate use of crop protection chemicals leads not only to unnecessary expenditure for the farmers, it may lead to crop losses, development of resistance in pest, presence of excessive residues in the final produce and ultimately impact their incomes. Framers particularly, those that are engaged in exporting their produce, may face rejection of export consignments and that may cause huge losses. It also affects their reputation and reliability as suppliers if they are engaged in contract farming with export marking companies.

For the nation: These issues impact the image and reputation of a country particularly when it aspires to become a reliable export hub agri commodities and also meat products. All these may result in reduced international trade prospects, foreign exchange earnings and impact the economic growth of the nation.

CropLife India Supports the Grow Safe Food campaign

"We are gaining knowledge on how to use pesticides responsibly and judiciously from the master trainers of CropLife India. We also learnt how to protect our health, store chemicals safely and also to differentiate genuine and spurious products while purchasing" said Mr. Palla Vekateshwarly, a farmer from Edida Village, East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh. He is one of the hundreds of beneficiaries of CropLife India's stewardship initiatives promoting sustainable agriculture through responsible use of crop protection products.

Grow Safe Food campaign:As a key pillar of its efforts to improve sustainable production of adequate amount of safe food, and augment food and nutritional security for the billion-plus population, the Department of Agriculture and Co-cooperation, Government of India, recently launched the 'Grow Safe Food' campaign. The nation-wide initiative is aimed at promoting awareness and capability-building efforts such as training for farmers particularly on food safety and quality issues.

Stewardship initiatives by CropLife India: Through its pilot projects in the districts of East Godavari in Andhra Pradesh, Bharuch in Gujarat and East Champaran in Bihar, CropLife India's initiatives aim to cover around 6,000 farm families in three states over the next two years. Training for farmers include classroom teaching and practical field training sessions for farmers.

The training curriculum includes 16 elaborative modules covering a wide range of topics such as IPM, role of beneficial insects including pollinators, judicious and responsible use of chemical, secure storage of pesticides, impacts of counterfeit and illegal products, use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as masks and gloves, correct spraying techniques, maintaining sprayers and nozzles, and triple rinsing of used containers.

Further in its outreach initiatives, CropLife India created a short video that explains potential risks and dangers of counterfeit and illegal crop protection products particularly for the farmers. The video is available in 7 languages - Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telgu and Kannada - and is used in the trainings across the country.

Apart from trainings, key messages are reinforced through hoardings and banners in the villages whilst other communication means such as poster and leaflets are also used to maximize reach to all the stakeholders.
Agri-input retailers are also actively involved in these activities as they are one of the important sources of information for farmers particularly on pest and disease management. As one of the key activities under the campaign, CropLife India supported the effort to send out advisories to over 160,000 pesticide retailers creating awareness on illegal counterfeit products.