Swaminathan Research Foundation agriculture scientist, Padma Vibhushan, Dr.M.S.Swaminathan has signed a MoU with GNFC (Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals) to share knowledge and resources, under the ambit of Neem Project. Prime Minister Narendra Modi very recently in his speech in the Parliament praised the GNFC's initiative to achieve India's target of 100% Neem coating of fertilizer.
GNFC has pioneered the innovative Neem Project that has provided livelihood to rural women and landless labourers for the last three years.Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) invited the Managing Director of GNFC, Rajiv Kumar Gupta IAS to deliver a special lecture about the Neem Project. Following which, the MoU was signed to forge a partnership, with targeted focus on skill development, women empowerment and organic farming through manufacture of Neem Pesticide, Neem Organic Manure, Neem Oil, Neem Soap, etc.
SRF, a not-for-profit trust, was established in 1988 by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist. The Foundation aims to accelerate use of modern science for sustainable agricultural and rural development.
In the lecture, Gupta explained the genesis and peregrination of the Neem Project, and concluded by elaborating on its replicable model.
GNFC used established community structures in rural India to build linkages within its supply chain network for neem seed collection. Since its inception three years ago, by collecting over 45,000MT of Neem seeds, more than INR 45 crore income has been generated for around 4.5 lakh women across 5 states of India. Due to the active participation of grass- root level organisations such as women SHGs, Water Committees, Milk Cooperatives, NGOs, etc., it has been hailed as an example in rural development by UNDP.
Following the lecture, GNFC and SRF signed the MoU to synergise their multi-sect expertise and cooperate through mutual sharing of knowledge and resources. Dr.Gupta from GNFC and Dr. V Selvam, Executive Director, SRF signed the MoU as a step towards adopting a concerted and systematic approach to collaborating on skill development, women empowerment and organic farming, especially through manufacture of Neem based products.