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SAI India

SAI Sustainable Agro, India

The growing Indian paper industry has generated a great internal demand for raw material. SAI Sustainable Agro has seized the opportunity to transform this demand into a solution to help small farmers improve their livelihoods with an innovative agro-forestry model.

The growing Indian paper industry has generated a great internal demand for raw material. SAI Sustainable Agro has seized the opportunity to transform this demand into a solution to help small farmers improve their livelihoods with an innovative agro-forestry model.

The region of Rayagada in the State of Odisha is one of the poorest in India. There, small farmers constitute the bulk of the rural poor, with 90% of them living below the poverty line. Incapable to provide for their families, many of them are opting out of agriculture and looking for new job opportunities in surrounding cities, a situation that is leading to large fluxes of urban migration and abandoned land.

Our partner SAI, selected as one of the most promising social entrepreneurship projects of UnLtd India, provides a truly innovative solution to turn the tide of poverty in remote rural areas in Odisha.

By leveraging the growing demand for pulp coming from the Indian paper industry, SAI’s agro-forestry programme aims to cultivate 300 hectares of barren land to provide income-generation opportunities to 500 small farmers’ families. Farmers associated to SAI’s model receive quality inputs for their production (plant seedlings, pest control products) and are trained and accompanied in the planting and nurturing of trees from production to cultivation and supply.

Farmers are also taught intercropping techniques by SAI, to assist their cultivation of additional agricultural crops that can provide supplementary income or food security for them and their families.

In 2020, the Foundation provided further support to SAI, enabling it to extend the benefits of its agroforestry model to even more farmers. Our support also helped SAI purchase a tractor to optimise the efficiency of its operations

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