S M Sehgal Foundation kicked-off Sustainable Guar Project in Sriganganagar, Rajasthan, with its partner organization, Ashland LLC, to improve and replicate its agriculture and water management innovations to improve the quality of the life of the farming community. The project commenced with 250 farmers in 2021–22 in ten villages of Sriganganagar. After the farmers’ overwhelming response, management decided to continue with the project, adding 1,600 farmers every year for the next three years. By 2025, the project will cover 5,000 farmers.
The project aims to train farmers about regenerative and climate-smart agriculture, and they will be trained about the Package of Practices (PoP) of Guar and other crops. PoP will help farmers understand the importance of balanced nutrition for their crop. It further helps to reduce the cost of cultivation and increases overall profitability.
Cluster bean (guar) is a crop that requires less water, fewer fertilizers, and less labor compared to crops like cotton and soybean. It also helps in nitrogen fixation, which further provides nitrogen to next year’s crop. So the project is promoting guar sowing for crop rotation to maintain soil health and promote crop diversity.
Farmers are using guar for own consumption along with selling seeds of guar directly in the market. Promotion of guar is to be included in food chain as it has high nutritive value and it is widely used in India as a vegetable. Due to rate hikes in recent years, farmers are able to manage cost economics of this crop and increase areas under guar cultivation. Farmers have shown a good response and are motivated to join the program. This initiative will not only deliver inputs and training, but it will promote innovative farm technologies and better agronomic practices, which will bring holistic and sustainable development for the farming community.