B Natural celebrates Farmerettes on International Women’s Day

B Natural celebrates Farmerettes on International Women’s Day

To raise awareness around the importance of Farmerettes, ITC B Natural and Reliance Retail join hands to unveil new pack of B-Natural Mixed Fruit

FPJ BureauUpdated: Saturday, March 09, 2024, 01:56 AM IST
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ITC Ltd., has always remained committed to serving Indian consumers with world class products, while simultaneously supporting the Indian farming community. 

In line with this commitment, ITC’s B Natural has announced a special initiative on International Women's Day to empower and uplift women fruit farmers. In India, Farmerettes (women farmers) make up about 75%* of the agricultural workforce. In collaboration with non-profit organisations 7th Sense and AWAKE, the brand has launched ‘Naanu Kooda Raitha’ (Main Bhi Kisaan), in Karnataka, which aims to provide comprehensive training and support to women farmers.

The first phase of the initiative, undertaken in collaboration with the Department of Horticulture, Government of Karnataka, focuses on extending specialised training opportunities to Farmerettes in various districts and taluks of the State. This unique CSR activity addresses the challenges faced by women fruit growers, including dismantling social norms, fostering independence in decision-making, and overcoming logistical hurdles.

Through Project ‘Naanu Kooda Raitha’, approximately 600 farmerettes have already received expert-led training in essential skills such as post-harvest management, stock management, bookkeeping, supply chain management, digital and financial literacy, and nutrition. These sessions, conducted across different districts of Karnataka covered various aspects like equipping Farmerettes with the tools to enhance productivity, increase earnings, reduce waste, and achieve financial independence, thereby improving their quality of life and ensuring sustainable livelihoods.

Looking ahead, ITC’s B Natural is committed to expanding the project's reach. The company plans to provide Farmerettes with livelihood skill training for value addition, preservation, and market linkages. Additionally, the initiative aims to mobilise and train women farmers in states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

This initiative underscores ITC's dedication to supporting and uplifting India's agricultural workforce, particularly women farmers, who play a crucial role in the nation's agricultural landscape. By empowering Farmerettes, ITC is not only enhancing their livelihoods but also contributing to the overall development and recognition of women in agriculture.

In addition to these initiatives, B Natural – one of the most loved brands of ITC Ltd., in yet another unique gesture has changed its iconic logo with a tribute to the unsung ‘Sheroes’ of agriculture, thus calling it ‘B-Farmerette’. This special logo celebrates the invaluable contributions of farmerettes and inspires a collective recognition of their valuable role in our country. These special packs will prominently feature one such Farmerette. Reliance Retail in this journey joins hands with ITC in this effort to be an exclusive retail partner for this range.

B Natural is committed to donating proceeds from the sale of these packs to support Anganwadis, underscoring the brand's commitment to social responsibility and community welfare.

Commenting on the launch, Sandeep Sule, Divisional Chief Executive, Trade Marketing & Distribution, ITC Ltd. said, “B Natural, the brand has been guided by a strong set of values and purpose, i.e., making fruit juices from pulp of Indian Fruits and not imported concentrates, sourced from Indian farmers, for the Indian consumers. Central to the ecosystem that supports B Natural, are the fruit farmerettes playing a pivotal role. Training program ‘Main bhi Kisaan’ is ITC’s gesture towards empowering the farmerettes and B Natural’s exclusive range is our token of acknowledgement and creating awareness of their efforts; through a magnetic Indian retailer – Reliance Retail Ltd.”

Damodar Mall, Chief Executive Officer, Reliance Retail stated "As the largest seller of Fruits & Vegetables in modern trade, we see the role of women in farming first hand. Smart Bazaar is very happy to partner with B naturals idea to celebrate women’s participation with a branding innovation. I am sure our discerning modern trade shopper will appreciate this innovation from team ITC.”

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