MasterCard and SEWA Collaborate to Advance Financial Inclusion in India

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Tools and Equipment Library Set Up to Empower 7000 Women Farmers

India CSR News Network

MEHSANA: As part of its commitment towards empowering the youth and women, MasterCard today inaugurated the tools and equipment library in Mehsana district, Gujarat. This initiative is in partnership with the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) that helps women in India secure employment opportunities, empowering them to be self-reliant with supportive services.

Ari Sarker, Division President, South Asia, MasterCard with Women Farmers at the inauguration of 'tool and equipment library' at Mehsana, Gujarat, IndiaMasterCard has pledged US $ 50000 to SEWA to set-up the tools and equipment library where tractor, plough, cultivator, harvesters, trolleys and other small tools will be made available to the poor farmers at nominal rent. The library aims to benefit more than 7,000 farmers across 5 villages of Mehsana District namely Vadu, Kaiyal, Ganeshpura, Navapura and Dangarva.

The timely access to the needed tools and equipment will help improve their quality of production, enhance their skills and ultimately increase their income. The tools and equipment library will be managed by The Vanlaxmi Tree Grower Cooperative which has experience of cooperative farming. Additionally the farmers will be given management training and inputs to increase their farm planning and management ability and improve their yield and productivity.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ari Sarker, Division President, South Asia, MasterCard, said, “At MasterCard, we recognize that empowering a woman to realize her full potential is key not only for her personal development, but for the development of her family, her community and the nation. It is a great honour for MasterCard to collaborate with the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) and help women in India realize their economic potential as entrepreneurs. The inauguration of tools and equipment library is yet another initiative aligned with MasterCard’s global philanthropic and social responsibility efforts to further financial inclusion through entrepreneurship.”

According to Reema Nanavaty, Director for Economic and Rural Development, SEWA “The tools and equipments library is a tool to empower small and marginal women farmers. It directly helps increase the incomes, yield and productivity of small farmers. Thus it ensures economic security, food security and livelihood security. The sadhanalay will be owned and managed by the women small farmers collective. The sadhanalay is an answer to financial inclusion.”

In July 2012 MasterCard and SEWA built the seventh Rural Urban Distribution Initiative (RUDI), processing centre in Bodeli, Gujarat. The objective of setting up this center is to provide multiple employment opportunities to tribal farmers and achieve fair prices for the farmers for their produce and to safeguard their interests. Till date 200 farmers groups of 4500 individual farmers have been organized and the farmers are getting 20% higher price than locally offered by the traders. The Center is also providing regular employment to 45 processors, 50 (RUDIBEN) women who distribute their products at 35 villages by covering 1100 households every month.  The total turnover of the center till date is INR 35,00,000/-.

MasterCard believes that by supporting entrepreneurship they are helping individuals overcome barriers to financial inclusion and ultimately achieve positive economic outcomes for themselves, their families and their communities.

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