Mahindra launches Prerna initiative to empower women in agriculture

Anand Mahindra, Chairman of Mahindra Group

MUMBAI: Mahidra & Mahindra Ltd, part of the USD 19 billion Mahindra Group celebrated the Mahila Kisan Diwas with the launch of Prerna – an initative aimed at supporting and empowering Indian women in agriculture.

The first project under Prerna is a collaboration between Mahindra & Mahindra, the Central Institution for Women in Agriculture (CIWA), a department of the Government of India’s Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the NGO Pradan (Professional Assistance for Development Action).

Prerna is based on the insight that women are often the invisible face of agriculture in India. There are 100 million women many of whom work long hours in tedious and back-breaking tasks in the fields, often with tools and equipment not suited for women. Despite these challenges they are usually paid less than their male counterparts.

The first project under Prerna aims to address these issues with the promotion of women friendly, efficient and ergonomic farm tools and equipment through well-designed, targeted interventions. The project aims to increase the work efficiency and productivity of farm women, which will in turn lead to sustainable development in the agricultural sector. The project will be initially launched in the state of Odisha, with the intention to positively impact the lives of over 1,500 families across 30 plus villages.

Rajesh Jejurikar, President, Farm Equipment Sector, M&M Ltd. said, “Women are the leading force in agriculture today. There is a need to acknowledge their contribution, and provide them with the necessary opportunities, training and equipment to help them become better farmers and improve their lives. Prerna is the result of this thinking and aspiration.”

Mahindra has also introduced a contest to crowdsource ideas that aims to seek contributions from the general public on ways to improve the lives of women in agriculture. The winner of this contest will get an invite to the prestigious Mahindra Samriddhi awards, an annual event that recognizes innovations and contributions in the field of agriculture in India.