Ruchi Soya inks deal with Netherlands’ Solidaridad to scale up Sustainable Palm oil production in India

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Deal worth Euro 4.5 Million will aim at reducing dependence on imports and save forex for India

Hon’ble Prime Minister of The Netherlands, Mr. Mark Rutte witnessed the signing of the agreement

NewZNew (Chandigarh) : Ruchi Soya Industries Limited (Ruchi Soya), India’s number one edible oil and soya foods company recently inked a deal with Solidaridad. Valued at Euros 4.5 Million, the deal was signed in the presence of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mr. Mark Rutte. Ruchi Soya will share 55% of this investment and Solidaridad the remaining 45%. The project will work on the principle of ‘Make in India’ and ‘More Crop per Drop’.

Ruchi Soya and Solidaridad India would be working with the Indian palm oil farmers training them on sustainable practices to grow more palm oil with less land, water and energy whilst protecting the ecology. Solidaridad would bring in its expertise in sustainable palm oil production from across the world and use state of the art technologies to augment water efficiency and sustainable expansion of palm production in India.

The aim of the project over next 4 to 5 years is to make available significant volume of sustainable palm oil for the Indian market and save at least 1.5 trillion liters of water in palm production and generate major employment in the rural areas. The purpose of this agreement is to set up first major sustainability intervention of palm oil production in India in a Public Private Partnership mode. As a result, the Indian economy will reduce the outflow of foreign exchange for the import of palm oil.

Mr. Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands who was present at the signing of the MoU said, “The Netherlands is the second largest exporter worldwide of agricultural produce. Therefore, I welcome the partnership between Solidaridad and Ruchi Soya in the sustainable production and trade of agro-commodities.”

Mr. Dinesh Shahra, Founder and Managing Director, Ruchi Soya Industries Limited said, “The partnership aims at increasing the productivity and income of Indian farmers in a sustainable way. Our endeavor is to ensure that the Indian farmers get the best quality of inputs and state of the art technology that can help them scaling their productivity to global standards. India consumes 19.65 million MT of edible oil, of which 13.5 million MT is imported and Palm constitutes 8.8 million MT of the total import. Government of India has identified 2 million hectares of land for oil palm cultivation in India. Ruchi Soya has done pioneering efforts in the oil palm cultivation in India and our partnership with Solidaridad will help India in saving the valuable foreign exchange.”

Dr. Shatadru Chattopadhayay – Managing Director, Solidaridad Network Asia Limited mentioned, “Palm oil farmers in India have a bright future as providers of food and suppliers of renewable energy and raw materials. Palm oil is an extremely efficient oil to produce. It’s cost effective, produces high yields on little land, consumes relatively little energy, and can generate almost 10 times the amount of energy consumed in its production. I believe this partnership would create a concrete example of how sustainable, commercially viable Public-Private Partnership can enhance the potential of Indian smallholder farmers and workers in rural areas with fewer negative consequences for people and the environment.”

It is expected that the large scale project would contribute towards India’s vision of moving towards self-sufficiency in palm oil, saving crucial foreign exchange outflow whilst simultaneously generating significant employment for smallholder farmers in remote regions with assured monthly returns throughout the year uplifting their socio-economic status.