Chennai, 2nd March 2019: Godfrey Phillips India wins the 6th Annual Greentech CSR Gold Award 2018 for its Farmer Community Program. Godfrey Phillips India has been adjudged the Gold Award winner of the 6th Annual Greentech CSR Award 2018 for the Burley Tobacco farmers Community program in Guntur District, Andhra. This prestigious Award presented was received by Ms. Vaishali De, Head, CSR, Godfrey Phillips India in Panaji, Goa. Godfrey Phillips India is head quartered at New Delhi.
The award recognizes the impact of the Company’s CSR initiatives in changing the lives of the marginalized, poor farmers of Guntur district, Andhra. The marginalized Burley Tobacco Farmers with land holdings between 1 to 5 acres continue to struggle with the droughts and lack of water for irrigation that allow them to only grow a single crop. Given this context, farmers are caught in the trap of seasonal employment, low incomes, lower bargaining power, increasing debts and a downward trend in labour prices. Along with these issues, there are larger community issues arising from drought such as low access to safe and potable water, high fluoride contamination in groundwater, poor access to toilets, lack of community sanitation and hygiene, limited access to education and skills beyond farming, and with non-availability of social protection, the children of farmers and laborers’ inadvertently get pushed into child labour.
The CSR programme with the objective of creating a sustainable livelihood through tobacco farming, has initiatives to improve standard of living by providing access to safe drinking water, creating awareness and access to sanitation, health & hygiene, encouraging child education and elimination of child labour. The programme also includes collectivisation of farmers into Farmers Development Societies and systems and protocols for the institutional development of the farmers’ collective as cooperatives, providing revolving fund support, access to credit, water and soil conservation, exposure to good agricultural practices etc. Over 2, 00,000 beneficiaries have been impacted.
Commenting on this occasion, Mr.Harmanjit Singh, Vice President & Head of Corporate Affairs, Godfrey Phillips India said “This is a recognition of our committed work in the communities we operate in. We believe in shared success of all the people and organizations we work with. The tobacco industry is highly regulated and restricted. With various legislations and initiatives for tobacco control, one of the majorly impacted stakeholders are the marginalized farmers and poor workers associated with the industry. We are partners in growth and progress, and with this integrated CSR program, we hope to include all in social and economic successes and impact the society and nation at large”.