Sustainable production in agriculture and industry, combined with sustainable trade will make a significant contribution to combat poverty and preserving people's environment, in the context of a global economy.
SREC seeks to combat structural poverty through sustainable agriculture and trade. SREC's mission is based on the following convictions:
Asia has been witnessing a tremendous economic growth in the past recent years. During 2015, India emerged as the fastest growing major economy in the world. According to the World Bank, 70% of the world’s middle class will reside in India and China by 2030 due to this growth. This rapidly growing middle class is already demanding for more food, feed, fibre and fuel. Most of the food businesses are eagerly looking forward to cater to this increased demand. In order to do so, it requires almost doubling the present farming output.
However, what we are seeing is the phenomenon of a rapidly dwindling farmer base. For example, India is losing more than 2,000 farmers every single day since 1991. The overall number of farmers has dropped by 15 million in the last 20 years. Most of the farmers are old people because the young generation does not think farming is profitable. Major challenges like depleting ground water reserves, reducing size of the farm lands, climate change and low value addition is making farming unviable and unattractive.
Major Indian businesses and global multinationals have heeded the call by among others SREC, to take responsibility and be part of the solution rather than be part of the problem.
Better farming is key to reducing poverty and providing access to health and education for rural populations, as well as curbing migration to overcrowded cities. In many cases, crop yields and livestock densities can be increased using existing, proven technology while reducing environmental impact and external inputs. In this way, efficiency gains will improve income while avoiding expansion and degradation.
SREC contributes to achieving this by working with small farmers, government and businesses as a catalyst for improved food production, a safer workplace, access to clean water, and a better income. Programmes are designed on criteria of sustainability so that finance, knowledge and skills remain available after the programme ends and continuity is ensured. This way, our interventions will become ever more effective and will increasingly contribute to greater welfare for more and more people.
SREC believes that the necessary changes will have to be driven by a collaboration between NGOs, market players and Government.