Nestlé Pakistan keeps exploring opportunities to increase socio-economic benefits for farmers and to minimize the impact of climate change. We have been promoting alternate energy sources, particularly amongst dairy farmers. During 2021-2022, Nestlé contributed to installation of solar systems at selected dairy farms to introduce renewable energy to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and energy costs.
If not handled properly, cow dung can increase GHG emissions. However, proper treatment of cow dung through bio-digester not only provides alternate energy as biogas but also provides a good source of organic matter for the agricultural land, reducing use of synthetic fertilizers. In 2021-2022, we supported multiple biogas digester installations at various suppliers’ farms. With cost and environmental benefits, farms with solar and biogas installations are also serving as a lighthouse in their respective areas.
Pakistan is amongst the countries, which have started facing adversities of climate change. Nestlé Pakistan is taking this challenge seriously. Nestlé, together with its partners, developed a low-cost soil moisture sensor that helps farmers decide when to irrigate their crops. Our initial field estimates have shown considerable water saving in irrigation with crop yield improvement.
We have facilitated the installation of soil moisture sensors on 548 acres in our agriculture value chain. These are not only helping farmers in saving the number of irrigations but also serving as lighthouses of an efficient irrigation system. Nestlé Pakistan has been supporting farmers to reduce water mismanagement with the installation of drip irrigation in Punjab at 139 acres of land. During 2022, the initiative was scaled to an additional 75 acres land in Sindh, for which water savings will come in 2023.
While reducing the impact of greenhouse gases, we also explored better ways for carbon sequestration. This is an important element to aim for net zero in the food value chain. We are conducting different studies on regenerative agriculture practices, which can help farmers in getting better yield with lesser GHG emissions.
Our Agri Services team is helping farmers get better yield and improve productivity. One of our major initiatives is supporting the import of high efficiency cows. During 2021 - 2022, Nestlé Pakistan helped farmers import more than 7000 cows, which helped in reducing GHG, increasing productivity and improving incomes of local farmers.
Nestlé is committed towards a zero carbon journey. For an effective action plan, we need to gain experience of various interventions implemented to reduce greenhouse gases under local conditions. For this purpose, we are developing a dairy farm, with maximum possible interventions, aiming to make it carbon neutral in the next few years.
Although we source fruit and rice from Punjab, our teams are now working with farmers in the majestic valleys of Gilgit-Baltistan as well to source fruit. During 2022, Nestlé Pakistan sourced high quality apples from Hunza, Nagar, Ghizer and Skardu regions. This initiative reduces fruit wastage, and converts waste to value for farmers.
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