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Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI), India

Adopting improved agricultural techniques to conserve water and enhance farmer livelihoods

Image sourced from Shutterstock
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Project overview

  • Region: Asia

  • Project type: Agricultural, Water

  • Standards: Gold Standard

The Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI), initiated by AgSri, introduces a number of simple innovations that save a great deal of water compared to prevailing practice in sugarcane cultivation. SSI teaches smallholder farmers to plant month old seedlings directly into the field, as opposed to planting a significant portion of seed cane taken from their previous harvest. Seedlings are made available at lower cost to encourage adoption of these methods, and training on revised irrigation techniques is provided. Revenue from Water Benefit Certificates subsidises the cost of seedlings and supports funding of educational campaigns.

Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI), India

Additional benefits

  • SSI methods can increase sugarcane yields by at least 20%, with a 25% reduction in chemical inputs.
  • Time saved by purchasing seedlings allows farmers and their families to pursue more productive activities.
  • The wide spacing of cane allows for intercropping vegetables, which both enhances the farmer’s income and provides an additional source of nutrition.

SSI planting techniques deliver 90% water saving compared to traditional practices.

Water Benefit Certificate revenues allow planned expansion from 1,500 to 20,000 smallholder farmers over the next five years.