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Walmart, Flipkart tie-up to manage stubble burning

Chandigarh: S M Sehgal Foundation together with Walmart Foundation and Flipkart Foundation today announced the implementation of an integrated project to promote sustainable solutions for effective crop residue management and to build eco-consciousness among children and youth. The details of the project were shared with Haryana State Chief Minister Shri Manohar Lal Khattar at Chandigarh. The project is being implemented in the State of Haryana with philanthropic grant funding from the Walmart Foundation and Flipkart Foundation and will aim at reducing the pollution impact caused by crop burning in Haryana.

Recognizing the detrimental effects of crop residue burning on soil health, human well-being, and the environment, the project funded by the Walmart Foundation aims to directly impact 15,000 farmers across 100 villages. Farmers will be trained on how to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting from crop residue burning along with recommending sustainable solutions for crop residue management, with a focus on improving soil health and crop productivity. These solutions include the use of a super seeder for crop residue management and the promotion of short-duration varieties of paddy as well as capacity building for farmers.

Additionally, a grant from the Flipkart Foundation also extends its support to raise awareness and build eco-consciousness among 5,000 children and youth across 60 villages in these districts, as this area is most affected by crop residue burning, and young people can act as champions of change in their families and communities.

The project works alongside grassroots communities to raise awareness and encourage the adoption of alternative practices that reduce the need for crop burning. Additionally, an emphasis is placed on educating the youth to build their awareness and act as change agents within their communities. S M Sehgal Foundation collaborates with a range of other stakeholders, including research institutions, academia, and social enterprises, to build a network of support and to foster a green future.

Manohar Lal Khattar, Chief Minister of Haryana, said, “The Government of Haryana is committed to finding viable solutions for crop stubble management to ensure air quality is improved for better health and well-being. We have implemented a comprehensive framework which includes robust and efficient crop residue management measures, effective monitoring and continuous awareness campaigns towards this goal. We congratulate Walmart Foundation, Flipkart Foundation and S.M. Sehgal Foundation on these important projects and look forward to seeing the positive impact both the projects will make for our communities.”

Julie Gehrki, Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Walmart Foundation, said, “The Walmart Foundation is committed to supporting the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in India. We are proud to work with Flipkart Foundation and S M Sehgal Foundation to help create opportunities for sustainable farming techniques that positively impact the environment, improve farmer livelihoods, and benefit all stakeholders.”

Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart, said, “At the Flipkart Foundation, our mission is to serve, support and empower communities, while maximizing socio-environmental impact. This collaboration with S M Sehgal Foundation and Walmart Foundation furthers our collective mission to empower farmers and drive meaningful change. Through this initiative, we stay committed to creating sustainable and thriving agricultural practices, by engaging young students as catalysts for change as they hold the key to a brighter and more sustainable future, which in turn can make a lasting positive impact on the environment. Together, we are dedicated to creating a greener and more prosperous tomorrow by reducing the pollution impact of crop residue burning that has a significant impact on the health of vast areas of Northern India.”

Sharing about the project, Anjali Makhija, Trustee and Chief Executive Officer, S M Sehgal Foundation, said, “For over two decades, S M Sehgal Foundation has worked on community-led development by helping rural communities in India to bring about positive social change. The project is unique in several ways including its innovation and engagement with women, children, and youth. Overall, through the project, the farmers will receive support to improve soil health, increase productivity through education on the judicious use of fertilizers, use of appropriate seed variety, adoption of micronutrients, and diversification into sustainable crops and varieties.”

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