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GDA Field Visit: Krishi Jagran Team Visited ‘Gender Smart Demo Farm’ in Aligarh

PepsiCo and USAID’s GDA program encompasses a broad spectrum of subjects crucial for the holistic growth of female farmers.

Shivam Dwivedi
GDA Field Visit: Krishi Jagran Team Visited ‘Gender Smart Demo Farm’ in Aligarh
GDA Field Visit: Krishi Jagran Team Visited ‘Gender Smart Demo Farm’ in Aligarh

PepsiCo Positive or pep+ is PepsiCo’s end-to-end strategic and transformative approach towards sustainability. With a focus on operating within planetary boundaries and fostering positive change for both the planet and people, Pep+ is built upon three pillars: Positive Agriculture, Positive Value Chain, and Positive Choices. On February 19, 2024, Krishi Jagran team conducted a visit to the Gender-Smart Demo Farm in Aligarh, engaging in discussions with PepsiCo India officials and farmers who have benefited from the GDA initiative.

At the heart of PepsiCo's agricultural endeavors lies the 'Positive Agriculture' pillar, which prioritizes sustainable farming practices. A key aspect of this pillar is the empowerment of farmers, particularly women, to enhance crop yields, optimize water usage, and improve livelihoods. One notable initiative under this pillar is the 'Investing in Women to Strengthen Supply Chains Development Alliance (GDA)', launched in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2020.

Addressing Gender Disparities in Agriculture

Despite constituting 63% of the agricultural workforce in India, women farmers often encounter unequal access to crucial resources such as training, technology, finance, and land. The GDA initiative aims to bridge this gap by demonstrating the benefits of gender-inclusive agricultural practices, which can lead to greater growth, profitability, and sustainability in farming. Through initiatives like gender-smart farms and training on innovative irrigation technologies like NDrip gravity micro-irrigation systems, GDA is equipping women farmers with the tools and knowledge necessary for success.

Training and Capacity Building

GDA's training programs cover a wide range of topics essential for the overall development of women farmers. These include sessions on agricultural best practices, financial literacy, farm record management, and even personal hygiene. With over 700 farmers trained so far, including 314 women and 389 men, the initiative is making significant strides in bringing gender inclusivity in agriculture.

Krishi Jagran Team Visited ‘Gender Smart Demo Farm’ in Aligarh
Krishi Jagran Team Visited ‘Gender Smart Demo Farm’ in Aligarh

Linking Farmers with Social Security Schemes

Furthermore, GDA is committed to ensuring that PepsiCo India collaborative farmers and their families have access to relevant social security schemes. Through partnerships with local NGOs like People's Action for National Integration (PANI), the initiative aims to provide information about and facilitate enrollment in various government schemes, including Micro Irrigation subsidy, Ayushman card, and old age pension.

GDA's efforts resonate with several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals). By localizing gender-smart farm tools, promoting gender-inclusive supply chains, and linking farmers with social security schemes, GDA is contributing to the advancement of these global goals while simultaneously driving positive change at the local level at several districts in Uttar Pradesh.

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