Eugenia Saini is currently FONTAGRO’s Executive Secretary. FONTAGRO is the Regional Fund for Agricultural Technology. She leads the investment fund and a portfolio of 70 international operations related to science, technology, and innovation for the Latin America and the Caribbean region. She is from Argentina and is an agronomist by training. She holds a doctorate in agricultural sciences, specializing in total factor productivity analysis. One of her seminal works in this field was the estimation of 120 years of TFP for the agricultural sector in Argentina. She is also a National Public Accountant and holds an MS in Food and Agribusiness and an MS in Applied Economics, both from Universidad de Buenos Aires. She has worked in the private and public sectors, both nationally and internationally, especially in multilateral banks. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship at Cornell University and, more recently, with the Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy (AILA) Scholarship at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C.
10 Years of Support for India’s Smallholder Farmers
October 15, 2019
The Imperative for Smallholder Farmers in India
Smallholder farmers – those with less than 25 acres – work 90 percent of the world’s farms. Many of these farmers are food insecure, struggling to earn a living or feed their own families. Though India ranks second worldwide in farm output, average yields are 50 to 70 percent lower than yields of top global producers.
With the world’s ever-growing population, helping smallholder farmers increase their yields is imperative, and a coalition of organizations is showing how it can be done.
Krishi Jyoti Project
Since 2008, the Mosaic Villages Project in India – a partnership led by Mosaic, the Sehgal Foundation and The Mosaic Company Foundation – has helped close the yield gap by providing modern agricultural tools and products.
After 10 years, the Krishi Jyoti project has transformed entire communities by focusing on agriculture, water, and education.
What began with two villages in rural India has grown to serve more than 60 villages, reaching 52,000 people and covering more than 17,000 acres. Farmers participating in the project have seen yields increase by 20-30 percent, providing increased income. A total of eight check dams are now capturing and storing rainwater — approximately 30 million gallons of recharged water annually — to replenish the underground water table. More children in these communities are receiving an education in a safe and healthy environment.
The project’s Krishi Jyoti, or “enlightened agriculture,” initiative equips smallholder farmers with modern agricultural inputs and practices.
Krishi Jyoti takes a people-centered approach, bringing community leaders together to leverage Mosaic’s agronomic and business expertise and the Sehgal Foundation’s proven approach to sustainable community development.
Mosaic also works hands-on with local farmers, teaching better agricultural and crop nutrition practices. Farmers participate in each step of the process, and the operations and results are demonstrated on their own fields.
Celebrating 10 Years of Success
Mosaic leaders visited some of the villages participating in the program to celebrate 10 years of the project. From joining the inauguration of a new check dam to officially opening a revitalized school, they were able to see firsthand the impact Krishi Jyoti is having on participating villages.
Additionally, Mosaic leaders joined Dr. Suri Sehgal of the Sehgal Foundation and other special guests to present research awards to recognize outstanding research, innovation and outreach in the area of crop nutrition.
At the awards ceremony, Corrine Ricard, vice president of Commercial, announced that Mosaic will be extending the partnership with the Sehgal Foundation for another three years, due to the success and positive impacts of the program.
The positive results of the Krishi Jyoti program hail from its deep and reciprocal nature. Each organization and community contributes unique skills and resources to advance shared goals.
By leveraging Mosaic India’s agronomic expertise and the Sehgal Foundation’s community-led rural development model, Krishi Jyoti has achieved proven and sustainable success for a decade, and looks forward to seeing much of the same in the years to come.