As a result of mine development, agricultural output over the life of the Project will actually increase, enhancing the country’s ability to be self sufficient in food.
Over the life of the Project the mine footprint will occupy 5,192 hectares. However at any one time only a third will be actively mined and the rest will still be cultivated either in advance of mining or following rehabilitation after mining.
The farming community in Phulbari area currently faces a number of challenges including a lack of power for irrigation pumps, shortages of fertiliser and poor quality inputs. Drawing on lessons learned through the agricultural programmes developed during the Feasibility Study, and working with local partners, GCM has developed an Agriculture Improvement Plan. This will deliver an additional crop per year and higher yields per crop. Rice production alone will more than double as a result. Specific measures include provision of water for year round irrigation, training and improved farming practices, moves to higher yield and higher crop values and improved inputs including the provision of bio-fertiliser to reduce the dependence on pesticides and other chemicals.