Fighting Poverty through Sustainable Tree Farming
Ballarpur Industries Limited (BILT), an Avantha Group company and India's largest pulp and paper company, will provide opportunities for 5,000 farmers in Central India to put to use degraded agricultural land and participate in the company's supply chain.
As part of this scheme, BILT will work with farmers to put to use non-fertile land to grow pulpwood, which is a eucalyptus-type crop. Smallholder farmers will then be given access to finance to purchase seeds for pulpwood trees, guidance on growing pulpwood, and an assured market through its guaranteed buy-back program. Farmers will also be given opportunities to diversify their income base through training in agricultural intercropping and livestock husbandry.
By 2015, farmers participating in the program are expected to earn six times more per acre of degraded land than non-participating farmers.