John Deere India: Prosperity through Partnership
When you say you want to solve hunger and empower youth through education, it can feel overwhelming. But when you hear Navnath Yadav talk about John Deere India’s Samruddhi project, you immediately understand the transformative and attainable impact that effective partnerships can have. All it takes is one example to showcase the power of a shared commitment to act.
Samruddhi, now in its fifth year, is a joint initiative between John Deere India and the Centre for Advanced Research & Development (CARD). “Samruddhi” is a Hindi word that means prosperity. Consistent with its name, this project enhances food security by promoting more productive agricultural techniques. At the same time, Samruddhi leverages greater agricultural prosperity to inspire improved access to quality education for youth. The project is currently implemented in Dewas, Sirhind, Nagpur, and Pune – all John Deere India home communities.
So, what happens when a progressive farmer like Yadav, an active member of the Sanaswadi Farmers Club, embraces new methods and shows a willingness to experiment? Yadav planted tomatoes, chilis, brinjal, cauliflower, and bitter gourd and then applied micro-nutrients and utilized drip irrigation, mulching, and bio-fertilizers. These new processes brought bigger yields and allowed for water conservation as well.
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, knowing that what he learned can 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. So, unless they have the trust in these improvements by the way they cultivate they wouldn’t risk that income,” said Satish Nadiger, John Deere India’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. “Plus, that trust helps bring that sustainability to the program.”
In addition to investing financial resources, John Deere India complements the project with the active involvement of employee volunteers across its India facilities. This allows volunteers to not only establish deeper connections with their home communities, but also leverage their talents and passions for a better and more sustainable future. In this way, John Deere India volunteers become vital stakeholders in Samruddhi, thereby further securing the Samruddhi’s impact and sustainability.
Yadav is just one example of the impact of John Deere India and CARD’s shared commitment to achieve sustainable and measurable outcomes. Because of Samruddhi, over 14,000 farmers are now able to provide more food for their families and help eradicate hunger in their communities. And, almost 23,000 youth have been exposed to new education programs and initiatives that will allow for long-term benefits well into the future.
And, that is the ultimate goal
“What does success look like,” asks Arun Pandey, John Deere India’s Citizenship Program Director. “It is when a community sustains the benefit of interventions even without the support of John Deere India and CARD. That’s when we’ll know it has made a difference.”