Indian soy smallholder engagement

In line with AAK’s Policy for Responsible Sourcing of Vegetable Oils, our joint venture in India, AAK Kamani, has committed to actively include smallholders into its soy supply chain.

AAK Kamani has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the so-called SMART project in Maharashtra, India. SMART stands for State of Maharashtra Agribusiness and Rural Transformation and is a productive partnership for climate-resilient agriculture headed by the World Bank and the Government of Maharashtra.

The key objectives of the project are:

  • Supporting value addition in the post-harvest segment of agricultural value chains;
  • Developing a mechanism for productive alliances involving various stakeholders in agricultural supply chains;
  • Improving the current policy and regulatory framework in the agribusiness sector;
  • Developing marketing and credit linkages with community-based organizations (CBOs) like farmer producer companies, cluster-level federations and farmer groups;
  • Improving the efficiency in agricultural supply chains through private sector partnerships that can be scaled up through project interventions.

AAK Kamani’s role in the project is to engage in the community-based purchasing of soy and groundnut through the SMART model. This creates a more direct supply chain, increases traceability and ensures improved control over quality and food safety requirements. In addition, the system empowers smallholder farmers to directly engage with buyers and to become part of contract farming agreements. The system also strengthens the local infrastructure that enables long-term capacity building for smallholders.

AAK Kamani has already started the partnership with the Government of Maharashtra and the farmer producer companies to increase the engagement during the planting season that has just begun. We are looking forward to deepening this partnership and seeing the results during the harvesting season in November 2019.