Saturday, March 2, 2024

'Paani Foundation will implement group farming program in Maharashtra in two years' Actor Aamir Khan announces in Farmer Cup award ceremony


Mumbai: The group farming program will be implemented all over Maharashtra in the coming two years with an aim to create hundreds of farmer entrepreneurs, said renowned actor and founder of Paani Foundation on Thursday.


He was speaking at the award distribution ceremony of the Satyamev Jayate Farmer Cup organised by the foundation. Vilas Shinde, director of the Sahyadri Farms, was the chief guest at the occasion. Paani Foundation's founder Kiran Rao, CEO Sattajit Bhatkal, COO Reena Dutta, mentor Dr. Avinash Pol, and other dignitaries from the industry, arts and agriculture sectors were present at the occasion.


The scientists who guided the participating farmers in the Farmer Cup, organisations Snehalay of Ahmednagar and Deepstambh from Amalner as well as Sahyadri Farms, Say Trees, Umed, POCCRA, Bajaj Auto Limited, Rajiv Khandekar of ABP Majha and scientists from different agri universities in the state were felicitated. D. L. Mohite, the expert who guided the farmers, was given special honor.


The competition witnessed participation from 3000 groups from the 39 talukas of 18 districts in the state. Of these, 21 were chosen for final round. Kumbhargaon Agro Producer Company from the Kumbhargaon, tq. Karmala dist. Solapur was chosen the recipient of the first prize worth Rs. 15 lakh rupees and trophy. Aai Jijai Mahila Shetkari Gat from Ghodegaon tq. Khultabad dist. Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and Unnati Shetkari Gat from Waranga tarf Nandapur tq. Kalamnuri dist. Hingoli were adjudged winners of second prize worth 5 lakh rupees and momento. Pragati Mahila Shetkari Gat from Sherewadi tq. Atpadi dist. Sangli and Royal Farmer Sheti Gat tq. Karmala dist. Solapur received third prize of2 lakh 50 thousand rupees and momento.


Speaking at the occasion,Aamir Khan said, "The Paani Foundation is completing almost 10 years. Initially, we worked on watershed development. At that time, the villages in Maharashtra proved that there was nothing impossible in the world. However, it was realised during the Covid period that the farmers needed financial stability. Then we moved to group farming with the objective of providing financial stability to the farmers. Now we are going to implement a group farming program all over Maharashtra. The foundation has the aim to reach entire Maharashtra within two years. The day is not far away when the entire Maharashtra will do group farming and we will be successful."


Vilas Shinde of Sahyadri Agro said, "The group farming experiment can be made successful only through the unity of the participants. These farmers are solving a crisis not only for us but for the entire country. Various agitations in the country are taking place only because of the agrarian crisis. But you have demonstrated that a farmer can do what a government cannot. The farmer is the provider of food and he is a businessman as well. The farmers are in the most difficult business. Now we are facing a global competition and we can win this competition through group farming."


Heavy participation of the women heartwarming : Devendra Fadnavis

 Deputy Chief Minister Devendra fadnavis conveyed his well wishes for the Farmer Cup through a special video message. He said, 'Government is implementing many schemes for the farmers. Farmer Cup has turned these government schemes into mass movements. I am delighted that the women are participating in Farmer Cup in significant numbers. That the foundation is giving special prizes for these women is appreciable."


Climate change crisis and opportunity also: Satyajeet Bhatkal 

Satyajeet Bhatkal said, "Climate change is the gravest crisis that the farmers are facing today and this crisis is not limited to Maharashtra but is present everywhere. This crisis is a very big opportunity. The farmers can earn income through various means such as solar farming, carbon farming and petrol farming. The farmers should set up business groups. Pani Foundation has put a program in place to train them for this purpose."


Celebrities galore

Renowned actors Prakash Raj, Atul Kulkarni, Pushkar Shrotri, Aadinath Kothare, Sonali Kulkarni, Manjari Phadnis, director Ashutosh gowarikar and other dignitaries from the Bollywood graced the occasion. Actor Jitendra Joshi and Spruha Joshi compeered the event. The various cultural performances showcasing agility of farmers won the hearts of the audience.

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