The Wardha Family Farming Project (WFFP) has transformed the lives of farmers in Wardha, Maharashtra by employing sustainable cultivation practices for the growing of pomegranates. This July, the first harvest of ripe, luscious pomegranate was plucked and delivered, which helped raise farmers’ income from 0 to Rs 60,000 per acre, at the current plant age of 2½ years.
Wardha, 100 km from Nagpur, was synonymous with agrarian distress. In 2015, disturbed by the farmers’ plight, Mahindra and the Naandi Foundation initiated the WFFP, which has become one of Mahindra’s top CSR programs. The project converted over 1,000 acres of low yield land, to high-value pomegranate plantation spread across 79 villages, benefitting more than 750 farmers.
The WFFP is helping farmers every step of the way — from land preparation, to implementation of the drip irrigation systems, plantation, institutionalizing bio-dynamic farming and capacity building. Mahindra and the Naandi Foundation ensure that the farmers use only the best, organic and non-chemical methods of farming, and in turn reap not just a good crop but also maintain a sustainable livelihood.
Manoj Kumar, CEO, Naandi Foundation, said, “Luckily for us Mahindra Group could foresee this as a vision and supported us to create this entirely new narrative for Indian agriculture. In less than three years, ours is the only oasis in the desert like rain-fed terrain. Farmers are delighted at their maiden pomegranate harvest and record prices earned. We think the “Red Rubies Revolution” has just begun and Wardha will be the center of India’s agriculture Renaissance.”
Ashok Sharma, MD & CEO, Mahindra Agri Solutions Ltd., said, “The first harvest of pomegranates encourages us to introduce initiatives that can support farmers and usher in hope and prosperity to the community. Farming 3.0 aims to educate farmers about new technologies and provide them with real-time information, leading to enhanced productivity and farm income.”