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Jain Irrigation wins prestigious G20 Award

Award recognizes Jain Irrigation’s innovative, scalable and financially sustainable inclusive business model

Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. (JISL), India’s largest and world’s second largest micro irrigation company has been declared a winner of the prestigious “G20 Challenge on Inclusive Business Innovation” award. The Company received this globally acclaimed honour at a high profile event at the G20 Leaders Summit at Cabos, Mexico, on June 18. The G20 Challenge recognizes businesses that have succeeded in developing innovative, scalable and commercially viable inclusive business models that addresses the particular needs of people living at the base of pyramid.

This is for the first time 15 global companies from different fields have been awarded for their efforts in inclusive business innovation. JISL has bagged the award for its contribution to the agriculture sector.

JISL is a farmer-centric company and micro irrigation has been its mainstay since the mid-1980s. The company has pioneered a green revolution through micro irrigation technology, which comprises mainly of drip and sprinkler systems. These are agricultural irrigation systems that focus on efficient and judicious use of water through its controlled release only in the root zone of the plants. In contrast, the conventional flood irrigation system waters the field rather than the plants, is wasteful and degrades the soil quality in the long run.

Micro irrigation technology not only saves precious and finite resource of water by upto 200%, it also increases yields by upto 250%. As a result, it creates a win-win situation for the farmers, especially for the smallholder marginal farmers, for whom the systems are heavily subsidized by the Government. Further, JISL also offers to buy back the produce of these farmers through contract farming, thus spreading the benefits throughout the agricultural value chain.

JISL is the leading provider of micro irrigation systems in India with 55% of the drip irrigation market and 35% of the sprinkler market. The company has been able to retain its leadership position mainly because of its comprehensive package of pre-sale and after-sale services, right from soil and water testing, to design and installation of systems, to close monitoring of crop growth and yield. In the last 25 years or so, the company has transformed the lives of over 3 million farmers in India, enabling sustainable wealth generation and progressiveness both on and off their farms.

The G20 Challenge Award citation describes JISL as a company that “works with small holder farmers on both ends of the food supply chain seeking out progressive, receptive farmers; providing them with micro irrigation systems; training them in efficient planting, irrigating and harvesting; selling them organic fertilizer and high-yield seeds; and, finally, purchasing their raw produce. By shedding their dependence on wasteful traditional forms of irrigation, farmers increase their income by US$100 to US$ 1,000 per acre (Rs.5,500 to Rs.55,000 per acre) at the same time as conserving 500 million cubic metres of water per year compared to flood irrigation.”

The company also runs an institute to train its 3000 distributors and engineers to take orders, deliver products, and teach people how to use them. The distributors, along with Jain’s own agronomist and engineers, in turn train more than 100,000 farmers every year on their farms. In addition, Jain’s procurement network consists of 2,100 contract farmers, which allows them to maintain a high standard of food safety and traceability in a market that is otherwise highly fragmented.

Mr. Anil Jain, Managing Director and CEO, Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. said, “We are humbled by this global recognition of our work. Our innovative inclusive business model represents a new paradigm for achieving widespread and lasting development impact and making a significant contribution to solving social challenges and creating income generating opportunities to millions of people. The award will inspire us to work with renewed vigour to propagate the technology at a greater pace throughout the country and the world.”

At the G20 Summit, the company’s success was showcased in front of world leaders, fellow irrigation leaders and the global public. Receiving the award, Mr. Aric Olson of Jain Irrigation Inc., USA, said, “On behalf of JISL, I express my gratitude to the jury for selecting us for this prestigious award. We are honoured that our innovation and passionate entrepreneurial zeal has been recognized by such an august body.”

About JAIN Irrigation:

Founded in 1963, Jain Irrigation is a diversified integrated company with more than 7,500 employees and a product portfolio encompassing irrigation products, piping products, plastic sheets, dehydrated foods, fruit puree and juice concentrates. Jain Irrigation has pioneered drip irrigation for small farmers in India and has a major market share in one of the fastest growing irrigation markets in the world and is also the largest drip irrigation company in the world.

Jain Irrigation annual turnover stands at $1billion with global presence in 120 countries and 4 continents. The company was named as one of the eight Indian companies expected to emerge as challengers to the World’s leading companies by Standard and Poor. More information can be found at www.jains.com