STEM and sustainable guar farming in India
Ashland partnered with the Sehgal Foundation in June 2021 on a pilot program for the sustainable farming of guar in Rajasthan, India.
The collective goal was to increase the volume of guar harvested annually through educational programs and scientific solutions for sustainable farming while respecting the sourcing relationships and local cultures of small village farmers in Rajasthan, India. The relationships are important to Ashland because we use guàr to formulate specialty ingredients for personal care, life sciences, and coatings applications.
helping expand local economies
The pilot included 250 farms from 10 villages. Using science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and modern technologies, farmers were taught sustainable agronomic practices and water conservation. The program’s successful results include helping farmers lower their production cost while increasing their crop yield by approximately 30 percent. In addition, the program has helped increase farmers’ income, thus expanding the local
economy in the small villages. STEM and sustainable guàr farming
At the same time, Ashland’s commitment to gender equality led to specific training focused on the local female population to empower them, improve their technical knowledge and skills, and help elevate their standard of living. Based on the success of the pilot, Ashland is moving forward with plans to increase the number of farms to 5,000 by 2025.
sustainably sourced guar by the numbers
- number of farmers enrolled in the program increased from 250 farmers to 1,850 farmers and from 10 villages to 25 villages
- average productivity yield increase in guàr crop since the implementation of the program is 22%
- number of health, sanitation, and community participation awareness program for women in 2022 is 728
- number of health, hygiene, sanitation, and nutrition awareness program for children in 2022 is 1,600