COVID-19: Bayer to provide seeds, PPE to 4 lakh small farmers in India
Jun. 18, 2020
German drug and agrochemicals major Bayer on Wednesday said it will support four lakh smallholder farmers across 17 states in India through its new global initiative 'Better Farms, Better Lives'.
Through this initiative, Bayer will support 20 lakh smallholder farmers in Asia, Africa and Latin America, with free Better Life Farming care packages, the company said in a statement.
These packages will be designed for farmers' local needs and will include a combination of Bayer's hybrid seeds, crop protection
products, personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety and training materials.
In India, the initiative will support 4,00,000 smallholder farmers in 204 districts across 17 states, spanning key crops such as rice,
corn, vegetables and millet.
Special focus will be given to women smallholder farmers and migrant labourers, who have returned to their villages and plan
to take up farming in their small family farms, it said.
In addition, Bayer will handhold farmers from sowing to harvest with advisory on crop, disease and pest management and help
improve market access for their produce.
"Smallholder farmers play a crucial role in ensuring food security for India, but the ongoing COVID-19 situation has impacted their ability to grow sufficient food for their families and communities.
"Lockdowns and restrictions on movement have impacted access to seeds, crop protection inputs and labor," Bayer CropScience
CEO and Global Lead for Bayer's smallholder farming initiatives D Narain said.
This initiative aims to provide immediate additional support to smallholder farmers in the form of agri-inputs and advisory during this Kharif season and beyond, he said. "It will also strengthen the livelihoods of smallholder communities most impacted by COVID-19. In the long-term, we aim to help smallholder farmers achieve higher crop yields and use their farms as a source of sustainable income, rather than just a means to survive," Narain added.
Bayer will distribute the care packages to smallholder farmers in India through its local networks of Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs) and Self-Help Groups (SHGs) focused on agriculture.
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