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  Social Responsibility

Published on: Jan. 21, 2023, 3:49 p.m.
GHCL Foundation's horticulture initiative: community development and farmer prosperity
  • Stock picture of black pepper vines

By Business India Editorial

Meramanbhai Jadavbhai Solaki, a farmer from village Chamoda, District Gir Somnath, planted 200 saplings of Black Pepper in an existing sopari orchard. The total cost of planting material was Rs12,000, of which he received Rs5,000 subsidy by GHCL Foundation.

GHCL Foundation, a non-profit organisation, has been working towards promoting sustainable and inclusive development of communities since 2014. It is a registered charitable trust, that aims to "go beyond business interest and positively impact society and the environment".

One of the initiatives taken by the foundation was the initiation of horticulture plantation activities. The crops planted under the initiative included primarily coconut, along with other fruits like pomegranate, anola, lemon, jamfal, sitafal, mosambi, santra, chikku, and sandalwood plants (red & white), sag, borsali, bilipatra, sisam wood, ramna, jambu, dragon fruit, ramfal, hanumanfal, grapes, black pepper, asopalav, apple bore, kashmiri bore, and sopari.

The aim of the project was to increase tree canopy near to improve air quality in the surroundings and help farmers to divert from ordinary field crop to horticultural crops, so that higher income could be generated. The financial benefits for the farmers from these crops were substantial as the survival rate of plants was up to 70 per cent.

In the first year of the initiative, 247 farmers joined in and planted 11,977 units covering about 60 hectares. By year two the number of farmers increased to 612 covering over 216 hectares of land. The sum invested was Rs19 lakh, with farmers and GHCL Foundation sharing the cost equally. Since then the number of farmers associated with the foundation has touched 996.

The introduction of Black Pepper as an inter-crop in the Sopari and Coconut orchards has enabled farmers to cultivate crops simultaneously. Owing to profitability and high demand of black pepper, 633 farmers from several villages have joined hands with the team and grown black pepper along with their usual crop.

The horticulture plantation initiative taken by GHCL Foundation has helped improve air quality in the surrounding areas and generate higher income for the farmers. The foundation's effort to provide subsidies to farmers has also helped in reducing the risk associated with farming.

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