The coronavirus pandemic, locust attacks, restriction of movement and shortage of workers due to the nationwide lockdown have put farmers in a tight spot. CSR has come to their rescue so they can get back on their feet and avoid a food shortage crisis in the future. This is how the latest CSR initiatives of Allcargo Logistics, TAFE and Vedanta Limited are helping farmers recover.
CSR of TAFE helping farmers recover
Tractor manufacturer Tractors and Farm Equipment (TAFE) Limited had launched a Free Tractor Rental Service for farmers in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, on April 1, 2020, for a period of 90 days, through its JFarm Services platform.
CSR helping farmers recover
The scheme received an overwhelming response from the farming community and within 75 days of its implementation, over 160,000 acres have been cultivated and rental service has been provided benefiting thousands of farmers in this crucial cropping season.
This CSR initiative by TAFE aimed to rescue the farming community from the economic implications of COVID-19, and mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus threat on farming operations of small and marginal farmers during the critical Rabi harvest and Kharif preparation season.
TAFE successfully implemented this free tractor rental scheme for the small and marginal farmers with the administrative support of the respective state governments from the Agriculture Departments of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. The benefit received by JFarm Services (an initiative by TAFE to increase easy access to farm mechanisation through tractor rental) has been directly given to the farmers by TAFE. This has considerably helped in enhancing the revenue of tractor owners and has been welcomed by both, the owners and the small farmers.
CSR of Allcargo Logistics
As an expression of support to agriculture, Avashya Foundation, the CSR arm of Allcargo Logistics, distributed essential seeds to families from the vulnerable sections of the society. The initiative was undertaken to encourage household food security and foster income generation for the villagers in Raigad Maharashtra. To mark the birthday of Shashi Kiran Shetty, Chairman, Allcargo Logistics Ltd, and Arathi Shetty, Chairperson, CSR Committee, the CSR team distributed rice and vegetable seeds.
Adhering to the social distancing norms, 130 tribal families were supported from five villages in Panvel Block of Raigad district. Distributed by Avashya Foundation volunteers, the team partnered with Savali, an NGO working in the area of education, health, and relief. This initiative is in line with the Chairman and Chairperson’s passion for environment-based initiatives and the need for the creation of self-reliant communities for helping farmers recover.
CSR of Vedanta
Looking at the disruption to lives and livelihoods of farmers post-outbreak of COVID-19 in India, Vedanta launched ‘Farm-to-Shop’, an initiative to help farmers in the periphery of its Jharsuguda (Odisha) plant to continue earning their livelihood and for helping farmers recover.
Created under the aegis of ‘Jeevika Samriddhi’, a farm-based sustainable livelihood CSR project being run by Vedanta in several peripheral villages such as Siriapali, Gudigaon and Keldamal villages, Farm-to-Shop enables farmers to sell their produce directly to employees and families residing in the company’s township.
Rolled out in early April, the initiative benefits over 120 farmers from Siriapali, Keldamal, Gudigaon and Amati (Kolabira block) who are harvesting their rabi crops like potatoes, tomatoes, chilli, watermelon, sweet corn, etc. Within one month, the project has helped sales of 10,600 kgs of vegetables, earning the farmers a revenue of nearly INR 3.58 lakhs, with a net profit of INR 1.5 lakhs.
Meanwhile, Vedanta’s alumina refinery in Lanjigarh in Odisha, is working with marginalised farmers in the area to develop a vegetable cultivation plan and has distributed seeds to the ones most in need. Under this CSR initiative, the plant is ensuring the availability of good quality seeds of bitter gourd, cowpea, ridge gourd, etc. to the local farmers in need, in collaboration with the Agriculture and Horticulture Department. The team has reached out to over 100 farmers in nearby villages in the first phase of this vegetable cultivation plan, which will help them in the cultivation of vegetables in kharif season.
The Central government’s economic relief package for farmers has fallen short of expectations for both, cultivators and farm workers. In such a situation, having more CSR funds from private and public companies directed into agricultural activity could give a boost to helping farmers recover faster.