Ambuja Cement Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of Ambuja Cements Ltd, works with over 2.1 lakh farmers to empower them with knowledge and help them build their capabilities. Through numerous training programmes, ACF is imparting knowledge on judicious and safe use of inputs such as water, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.
To streamline the learning process and ensure efficiency, Ambuja Cement Foundation launched a Quick Response (QR) platform. This digital platform included all training material and can be stored for a longer period of time. A pilot trial of the platform was carried out with farmers in Marwa Mundwa and its success has led ACF to expand this service in Bathinda, Punjab and Kodinar, Gujarat making it available to 9000+ farmers.
Overcoming the challenge of storing reading material, the QR platform provides information to farmers anytime and anywhere. It is accessible by scanning the code, which has been made available in various community areas. The information includes data on Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), Principles and Criteria, and other cotton related agronomical aspects.
Mr. Neeraj Akhoury, MD & CEO, Ambuja Cements Ltd said, “Community well-being is deeply ingrained in our culture and integrates us with the wider world. Skilling farmers with the right knowledge can help improve the productivity of agricultural lands, thus improving yields and their development. Ambuja Cement Foundation has been consistently working towards bettering the lives of communities, by now adopting digital tools and platforms, we will only march towards building an equitable and better tomorrow.”
This digital innovation has been a boon for farmers during the pandemic as sharing of training material was no longer a challenge. The information could be accessed through the QR code. Furthermore, ACF leveraged it to provide updates on government guidelines, the agricultural sector, and to also upload precautionary measures to be practiced in fields during the pandemic. Thus, helping communities to make smarter business decisions.
Pearl Tiwari, Director and CEO, Ambuja Cement Foundation, said, “While conducting training programmes are critical for creating livelihoods, sustaining the knowledge flow is equally important. The challenge that we were facing was maintaining the numerous copies of reading material. With digitalisation, the ACF team developed a solution to end the woes of the farmers. The QR platform has digitized learning for farmers and creating a repository of information gives an impetus to our community development efforts, and is supporting our vision of creating a sustainable tomorrow.”
This innovation has been appreciated by the farmers as it enables them to access data and information at a click of a button. Introducing this digital technology helped move beyond the traditional practice of distributing training material after every session, thus making the farmers independent to source relevant information after identifying any issue in the fields.