India: future in organic agriculture

Through practical training, we prepare young people in Uttarakhand to become skilled farmers and entrepreneurs in order to give them better job opportunities and reduce the youth unemployment rate.
EUR 90,000 per year
Uttarakhand, India
Agricultural training for women

Finding a market for agricultural products

The Indian state of Uttarakhand is facing several problems, including climate change, food insecurity and poverty. In 2017, the youth unemployment rate rose to 13%, partly because young people have insufficient access to (practical) training. They are increasingly fleeing the countryside and migrating to large cities, as farming is not always seen as a profitable occupation. In particular, women often lack the right knowledge and skills to play a full role in the agricultural sector. For organic rice growers, it is also difficult to find a market for their rotational crops. Nevertheless, there are opportunities for (technological) innovation, which may lead to a stable income.

Promoting youth and agriculture

We are actively investing agriculture, the backbone of India's economy. Since 2019, in cooperation with the local NGO Partners in Prosperity, we have been organising several practical trainings for young people aged 15 to 35, with a focus on regenerative agriculture and the renewal of the flatland economy. We promote a circular economic model of production and consumption and encourage the reduction, reuse and recycling of as many materials as possible. In three years' time, we want to encourage 2170 young people (with special attention to women) to retrain as skilled entrepreneurs. They learn vocational skills, such as innovative techniques for growing organic rice, and discover methods of adding value to improve their income. They also develop their marketing skills, financial competences and entrepreneurial qualities through intensive training. In addition, they can count on thorough guidance and we facilitate exchanges between peers.

A group of young people receiving training
Young woman holds up rice crop

Future for young people in agriculture

Thanks to this project, young people in Uttarakhand increase their chances of a better paid job and get the chance to build a sustainable future in their region. Their self-confidence grows and they emerge as entrepreneurs and driving forces within their local communities. They can also count on a supportive alumni network. With the acquired practical skills and soft skills, we hope that 70% of the young people will be able to start as self-employed and 14% will be able to start as employees. Another 14% can become entrepreneurs and in turn employ other young people. So young people get the future prospects they need and young women find more work in non-traditional fields. The project will make farming attractive to young people again and thus counter unemployment and urban migration.

Chain project: organic Basmati rice

Colruyt Group has been active in the Uttarakhand region in India for some time. Under the guidance of experts, a sustainable (organic and Fairtrade certified) rice production chain has been developed in cooperation with small, family-run agricultural organisations. Every year, Colruyt Group buys 165 tonnes of Basmati rice for its own Boni Selection Bio brand. As a result of introducing farming systems such as SRI (System of Rice Intensification), the income of the rice farmers who work with Colruyt Group has already increased by 20% to 30%. In turn, water consumption has fallen by 30% and greenhouse gas emissions by 20% to 30%.

Man in a rice field

Collibri Foundation


Colruyt Group
Edingensesteenweg 196
1500 Halle


+32 (0)2 363 55 45
during office hours


KBO 0753.616.160