A well thought out blend of hand holding, motivation and innovation has helped Syngenta paved the way for women’s holistic empowerment in Bihar. Through its Good Growth Plan, training women agri-preneurs and various initiatives under I-CLEAN project, Syngenta is making a difference in women’s life at the grassroots level in the state.

As a part of the International Day of Rural Women, Syngenta honoured women vendors at I-CLEAN Rural Haat, Bochcha in Muzaffarpur district in Bihar. They were honoured for felicitating the contribution of rural women in changing the world through resilience.

“Syngenta India started the I-CLEAN initiative in 2014. So far, 20 Rural Haats in Bihar and Karnataka have been modernized. Around 30% of the vendors in these Rural Haats are women,” said Dr KC Ravi, Chief Sustainability Officer, Syngenta India Limited. All women vendors were provided with ‘solar lanterns’ which they can use at the market as well as at home. It will also promote the use of renewable energy by earning livelihood. Their school going children can also use the lamps for studying, Dr Ravi added.

Expressing her gratitude, Rajni Devi, a woman vendor, said, “Earlier we used to sell vegetables and fruits under unsafe and unhygienic conditions. Particularly during the rainy season, the market used to get very dirty and most of our vegetables and fruits also used to get dirty.” “Now with the better infrastructure, new sheds and solar lights we feel much safer and the entire market has got a new look. We also get more buyers as the market timing has increased by two to three hours now. Our income has also considerably increased due to better market facility,” she added.

I-CLEAN project — Inculcating Cleanliness, Learning, Education and New habits — focuses on providing modernized rural markets to remote and economically backward areas. These rural markets are old and ubiquitous institutions to the economic life of many in India. These markets are usually connecting strong relations between consumer and producer and between local markets for commodities and larger capital and commerce.

The International Day of Rural Women, which was instituted by the United Nations (UN) to recognize the role of rural women in contributing to improve food security and eradicating rural poverty worldwide, is observed in October every year.


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