Ambuja Cement Foundation scale up Strawberry production
As many as 35 farmers from Farakka in West Bengal have each generated over Rs. 1 lakh in profits by converting to strawberry farming, according to Kolkata (India CSR). Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF), the corporate social responsibility division of Ambuja Cements Ltd., offered the crop to the agrarians as part of a trial project in 2020–21 in collaboration with IndusInd Bank.
The organization assisted in establishing the crop’s necessary infrastructure and provided farmers with the training they needed to grow the fruit. The intervention’s goal was to increase farmers’ revenue.
Since marketing was a top priority, the foundation started a market research project. They initially went to neighbourhood markets and retail fruit businesses and made contact with outlying shopping centres. Later, it started conversations across locations to investigate the market.
Ambuja Cement Foundation
Since strawberries are a perishable food, the Ambuja Cement Foundation looked for a more acceptable kind that grows slowly and produces more fruit. It was noted that the farmers were skilled in growing strawberries. Some farmers were encouraged to start growing strawberries a year ago, and they discovered that they could earn a lump sum within two to three months. ACF made the decision to increase strawberry output as a result. For 35 farmers, 40,000 plants were ordered, which is four times as many as was bought the previous year.
Managing Director & CEO of Ambuja Cement Foundation and CEO of India Holcim, Neeraj Akhoury, stated, “We found that the people living in rural areas require more access to economic development. This is especially true for our agrarian population, which is mostly dispersed and landless. In India’s hinterland, economic growth of our farmers can end poverty. Our main goal was to provide farmers with secure irrigation and other amenities so they could support themselves.
Laxmipur village, where a plantation on a two-acre area cultivated by six farmers, was started, satisfies the requirements of assured irrigation. The farmers first received instruction in managing and preparing the soil. Up to 12,000 plants were sown per acre by the farmers. Through rigorous day-to-day monitoring, plant spacing, the use of polyethene mulching, and the spray application of liquid fertilizer and vitamins were all ensured.