Partnering with rural communities for inclusive development
Implementation of good and sustainable agricultural practices can help enhance farm productivity, while technology can enable transparency and identify challenges across the supply chain for providing new and innovative solutions.
Wednesday May 03, 2023,
3 min Read
Mahatma Gandhi had said, true India lives in its villages. The statement is true even today. Approximately 65% of India’s population lives in over 600,000 villages. Nutrition, water, sanitation, health, and employment remain important indicators of development for rural India.
Several steps have been taken towards this through sustainable and inclusive development, yet a lot more can be done, through collaboration and partnership between stakeholders.
Working towards holistic rural development
Holistic development entails progress across various parameters. The changes require an in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by the community. It can be be addressed through collaborating with relevant communities who work at the grassroots level through resource allocation and skills sharing.
As corporate citizens of a country, businesses too have an important role to play in bringing about change and providing solutions through partnerships and community-led village development. This could include improving village sanitation, digital literacy, education, farm management, pond rejuvenation, water conservation, and adoption of new agricultural techniques and livelihood programmes.
Education and empowered communities
Education plays an important role in developing thriving communities in addition to skilling. It is important for all relevant stakeholders to ensure equitable access to resources, including proper education in villages. This can be achieved through better school infrastructure, holistic education, trained teachers, and a conducive environment that gives parents the confidence to send children to schools.
Partnering with farmers for rural development
Agriculture is an integral part of rural development and provides livelihoods to rural communities. Approximately 47% of the population is dependent on agriculture for livelihood. In fact, agriculture employs about 80 percent of rural women. The allied sector of agriculture such as dairy, employees more than eight crore farmers directly.
If we take the example of sustainable dairy production and sourcing, companies could invest in capacity building programmes for dairy farmers by providing technical know-how on good cattle feeding practices, breeding practices and mechanisation of farms, thereby continuously improving sourcing operations.
Digitalising the traceability of milk, piloting new tools that calculate emissions will ensure continuous improvement. The implementation of good and sustainable agricultural practices can help enhance farm productivity, while technology can enable transparency and identify challenges across the supply chain for providing new and innovative solutions.
The quality of food depends on the quality of ingredients, and the soils in which they are grown. There needs to be a focus on protecting the ecosystem while growing the crops.
Together, we can
Sustainable production, and training for women and youth are essential to boost rural development and strengthen communities. Companies must effectively collaborate with stakeholders to bring about change through holistic development, upskilling and capacity building. Scientific methods and technological advances like water-saving irrigation practices, increasing awareness on soil health, and optimising farm productivity could go a long way in ensuring better and more sustainable yields for these households.