08 February 2023, Mumbai: Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF) promoted Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) from Bhatinda, Punjab was awarded the Best FPO and Self-Help Group (SHG) Guru Tegh Bahadur was awarded the Best SHG by NABARD during the State Credit Seminar 2023-24 in Chandigarh.
Through ACF, farmers are encouraged to form groups and market collectively. This helps farmers to avoid intermediaries and earn more profits from their produce. ACF extensively invests in training farmers on the latest technologies, practices, and environment-friendly methods by allowing them to form FPOs. They provide them with farming equipment and machines on rent. These initiatives are so beneficial that some of these FPOs have also gone ahead and registered businesses to market their products.
Furthermore, the company focuses on encouraging women to join Self-Help Groups (SHG) to instill the habit of saving to support themselves and their families. The Guru Tegh Bahadur SHG has started its own business of crafting and selling traditional handicrafts in local markets and exhibitions. The Company also assists groups who want to start their businesses by offering training in business plans, regular recovery, and record keeping.
Commenting on the achievement, Pearl Tiwari, Director, and CEO of Ambuja Cement Foundation said, “It gives us immense pleasure to be recognized for our work in rural areas. NABARD has been one of our oldest partners and we have seen great impacts working together. ACF believes in its on-ground team which ensures the successful implementation of our projects. These rewards belong to our Bhatinda team as they work tirelessly to bring prosperity to our rural communities.”
ACF believes in the power of forming People’s institutions (like FPOs and SHGs), as true community development and prosperity comes only if people are empowered to play a role in helping themselves. In this process, people become responsible for taking care of their structures or facilities, inculcating various habits like savings, and becoming active in making community decisions – all contributing to the sustainability of community projects. Apart from Farmer Producer Companies and Self-Help Groups, ACF helps form Women’s Federations, Water Users Associations, Village Health Functionaries, Watershed Development Committees, and School Management Committees.
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