When you say you are going to help solve hunger by empowering others through education, it can feel like an overwhelming statement. But when you hear Sudam Koniba Yadav talk about John Deere’s Samruddhi Project in India, you immediately understand the impact of the cause. All it takes is one example of success to showcase the power of a shared vision.
The project, now in its fifth year, is a joint initiative between John Deere and the Centre for Advanced Research and Development (CARD). Its goal is to provide solutions for world hunger by teaching farmers in India updated alternatives to traditional farming methods. It is being implemented around the cities of Dewas, Sirhind, Nagpur, and Pune – all John Deere home communities.
Yadav, an active member of the Sanaswadi Farmers Club, integrated new agronomic methods and experimentation to growing tomatoes, chilis, brinjal, cauliflower, and bitter gourd. He applied micro-nutrients and utilized drip irrigation, mulching, and bio-fertilizers. The results were staggering.
The new agronomic methods not only produced significantly bigger yields but also saved water. And, not only did his income increase three-fold on the half-acre plot of land, but he is now able to provide schooling for his children. His new knowledge can help make a better life for his family for generations to come.
“Trust is very, very important because the farmer has to risk his livelihood by implementing some of the new processes or programs,” said Satish Nadiger, director, Ag & Turf Division Finance (Asia). “So, unless they have the trust in these improvements by the way they cultivate, they wouldn’t risk that income. Plus that trust helps bring that sustainability to the program.”
Yadav is just one example of John Deere and CARD’s investment to help farmers achieve sustainable and measurable outcomes. In addition to investing financial resources, John Deere complemented the project with active involvement through Deere volunteers throughout its India facilities. This allowed employees to meaningfully engage with farmers and make a deeper connection to their home communities.
Much of John Deere’s corporate social responsibility efforts is focusing on community development, education, and food insecurity in areas where the company does business around the world. The Samruddhi Project not only hits all three but has impressive numbers to take a story like Yadav’s and multiply it.
Nearly 14,000 residents have benefited from community development activities that Deere and CARD have established. Another 14,000 farmers now provide more nutritious food for their families and are increasing their incomes. And almost 23,000 students have been exposed to new education programs and agronomic initiatives that will allow for sustainable outcomes into the future.
And, that makes the goal of solving world hunger more attainable.
“What does success look like?,” asks Arun Pandey, John Deere’s Citizenship Program Director for Asia . “When a community starts sustaining the benefit of interventions even without the support of John Deere and CARD. That’s when we’ll know it has made a difference.”