Lately, Indian farmers have been increasingly spraying toxic pesticides on cumin beyond acceptable levels. To ensure our customers get EU compliant Cumin considering pesticide residue levels and also to ensure sustainable livelihood to farmers, our company has done backward integration with Cumin farmers by adopting good agricultural practices. We are now into 4th year of our IPM Cumin program and well versed and adapted for its success.
Company identified 218 progressive farmers based on their experience and historic data on pesticide usage in this region. A total area of 4385 Hectares is registered with us to cultivate IPM cumin by adopting good agricultural practices and integrated pest Management.
Steps included in our IPM program:
- Farmers in our program are given sowing guidance and soil preparation. A good rapport is established with all of them.
- Right from sowing till harvest, our team visit farmers every week and supervise their farms. They are given inputs in terms of climate expected, manual weeding of noxious weeds, problems which were faced last year, new regulations if any, etc
- At the same time even local registry of pesticide dealers is checked to ensure none of farmers on our list have purchased any harmful chemicals.
- At time of harvest farmers are suitably guided in case of insect infestation or other problems.
- On harvest, high premium is paid to farmers, ensuring they get better returns than what market offers. Also complete payment given against delivery thus farmer is not kept waiting compared to usual traders.
- Every lot from farmer is sampled personally by our team and sent to laboratory for pesticide residue testing. This leaves very little risk of non-compliance.
- Our team packs cumin from farmer premises to ensure no contamination happens at any stage. These bags are then loaded on trucks for our processing and cleaning plant.
- Machines are cleaned 100% to avoid contamination from non IPM cumin. Also note that during season (March to May) machines are only cleaning IPM material and not any other.
- After sortex, goods are dispatched to our warehouse near Mundra port where pre-shipment sampling done from square root + 1 number of bags as per EU norms. After laboratory certifies the lot as compliant, only then we proceed to ship the lot.
- Every buyer can be given complete traceability reports to the farm level giving them 100% confidence.
Suitable sustainability initiatives:
- Monetary : High Premium paid to farmers ensuring they get better returns than what market offers. Also complete payment given against delivery ensuring farmers are not kept waiting compared to usual traders.
- Environmental: No harmful chemicals used which can affect the bee population. Also no harmful chemicals used which leave heavy residues in soil. Manual weed pruning done every few days which ensure better yields. Natural resources like water are protected by promoting micro irrigation facility like sprinkler irrigation.
- Farmer training: Farmers are guided at all stages to ensure he has adequate knowledge in sowing, growing, harvesting and threshing stages. Seeds selection, Soil preparation, correct water-requirements, weed control, disease control, is incorporated in the program. This leads to better health, and safety of farm workers, local communities and society. Knowledge and skills are shared in way to enable continuous progress