Farming and Agriculture

Sowing Seeds of Change: Empowered Women Cultivate a New Era in Agriculture

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28 February 2024, New Delhi: As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we illuminate the remarkable narratives of three extraordinary women whose lives have been metamorphosed through the PepsiCo-United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Global Development Alliance (GDA) program. Launched in 2020, this five-year, 20 million USD partnership strategically invests in advancing gender inclusion in PepsiCo India’s agricultural supply chains while concurrently addressing key business priorities. This impactful initiative spans across five focus countries, including India.

Through this initiative, 735 women have received the ‘Empowered Workers Training’ on gender norms in agriculture, along with training on ‘Package of Practices’ (pre-sowing, disease & pest management, post-harvest management), safety at the farm, financial literacy, and farm record keeping and management.

 Women farmers are being provided regular training for their overall development and improvement of agricultural expertise, including NDrip gravity micro-irrigation systems, personality development, safe use of chemicals, menstrual hygiene, and basic digital literacy skills. One of the key interventions under the project includes the introduction of solar-powered wheel-based sprayers, offering a more accessible alternative to conventional, heavy sprayers.

The project demonstrates the business case for a gender-inclusive supply chain and catalyzes change as other food and beverage companies look for new ways to increase productivity.

These women are not just breaking stereotypes; they are forging paths as pioneers in their communities, contributing to a more inclusive and empowered future.

  1. Guddi Devi & Mudra Devi (Etah): Empowering Generations

In the heart of Etah (Uttar Pradesh), Guddi Devi and Mudra Devi, the mother and grandmother of Sachin, a contract farmer with PepsiCo India, have emerged as the bedrock of support for their household. The GDA program has provided them with a women-friendly sprayer machine and comprehensive training in farming and financial practices. Today, they not only actively engage in agricultural activities but also play pivotal roles in decision-making, ensuring a sustainable and prosperous livelihood for their family.

  1. Dolly Singh (Bairamgarhi): Cultivating Equality in the Fields

Dolly, supported by the GDA program, has not only cultivated potatoes but also sowed the seeds of financial growth and self-confidence. Beyond the fields of profit, her journey unfolds as a narrative of newfound empowerment. The GDA program has equipped her with modern techniques, enabling her to navigate the agricultural landscape with confidence.

  1. Arti Singh (Bairamgarhi): From Supportive Spouse to Economic Empowerment

In Bairamgarhi, Arti Singh, the wife of Harveer Singh (PepsiCo India contract farmer), has undergone a remarkable transformation through the GDA program. Liberated from a supporting role, Arti actively participates in financial decisions and responsibilities, contributing to her husband’s endeavors and the welfare of the community. Her journey exemplifies how the economic empowerment of women can lead to the overall prosperity of families and communities.

These stories vividly illustrate the tangible impact of the GDA program in fostering women’s empowerment, dismantling gender norms, and creating a more inclusive agricultural sector. As we celebrate the achievements of Guddi Devi, Mudra Devi, Dolly Singh, and Arti Singh, let their journeys inspire us to cultivate a future where women play a central role in shaping the landscape of agriculture. Happy International Women’s Day!

Also Read: Marut Drones and PJTSAU’s Direct Seeding Device Receives World’s First Utility Patent

(For Latest Agriculture News & Updates, follow Krishak Jagat on Google News)

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