Westmill has partnered with the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) to help educate, empower and build sustainable livelihoods for 2400 female cumin farmers in Gujarat, India.
Gujarat is a poor state, with below average incomes, where farmers are particularly poorly paid, with a very limited safety net should their crops fail. Women have less opportunities available to them in a patriarchal society, they also do not get easy access to new agricultural techniques, training and effective markets to sell their produce.
SEWA are the largest women’s trade union in India, who have worked closely with women smallholder farmers in India for 48 years. By funding the SEWA programme, we aim to improve the livelihoods of 2,400 women cumin farmers by helping them to become more self-reliant, achieve better yields and incomes, and build better resilience to climate change.
Westmill provides the women participating in the programme with training in better agricultural practices, which helps them improve their status in the local community, and therefore empowers them.
We have some quotes from the farmers enrolled in the project:
A farmer from Patan District said ‘these new practices hiked our income and our living standards have also improved’, while a farmer from Surendranagar reported that the training ‘helped me tremendously, overall costs have reduced and also my quality of land has improved’. She also said that ‘most of (the other villagers) will carry out the same practices from next year’.
On Pack Messaging:
This initiative effectively brings SEWA and consumers together through our Rajah Brand. As of June 2021, we have launched on pack messaging on 5 of our key Rajah SKU’s to state that ‘5p from the purchase of every participating pack (Chilli 100g, Garam Masala 100g, Dhaniya 100g, Jeera 100g and Haldi 100g) will directly contribute to empowering the women farmers enrolled in our programme.
Every pack carries a QR code that directs you to the sustainability section of the Rajah website where you can learn more about this project.