With communities at the core of all its interventions, Pernod Ricard India – a sustainable and responsible organization focused on transforming lives – is creating shared value for all of its stakeholders and has become their partner of choice for building resilient and empowered communities through sustainable development projects. Working relentlessly on its aim to institutionalize socio-economic benefits, the organization has been empowering communities spanning the length and breadth of the country through transformative initiatives, including the WAL program that involves 12,449 members’ active participation.
Through the five integrated development projects of the WAL program – with its focus on water, agriculture and livelihoods – Pernod Ricard India has been fervently engaged with rural communities in Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra. The program meant to promote community-driven innovations in the agricultural sector while spearheading water conservation and stimulating sustainable agriculture has a special focus on women stakeholders.
The commitment of Pernod Ricard India to transform lives reflects in the words of the company’s Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Communication and Sustainability & Responsibility, Yashika Singh, “With over 30 years of rich legacy and operations in India, Pernod Ricard continues work towards accelerating the Government of India’s vision towards sustainable development and UNSDG priorities through concerted efforts in water, agriculture, community, and environment.“
WAL’s development projects are empowering local communities and fostering tangible socio-economic transformations through sustainable agri-practices, water resource creation and by facilitating the businesses of non-timber forest produce, which have led to increased disposable incomes for small and marginal farmers of the areas.
In the realm of water resource creation and conservation, the initiative has witnessed tremendous success in safeguarding year-round access to water through community participation and ownership. To date, the WAL program has been credited with the creation of 3,392 million liters of water potential with 1,391 water storage and recharge structures. Moreover, by augmenting government schemes, the program has been able to provide livelihood opportunities to rural communities.
The WAL program is committed to promoting the best community practices for improved production, drought resilience, resource optimization and creating local value chains to support agri-based livelihood. The project’s Package of Practices (PoP) entails a unique set of resources, inputs, livelihood training and field demonstrations alongside the much-needed exposure to communities that motivate a shift towards the best agricultural practices. The interventions aimed at creating locally feasible, climate-resilient and low-cost approaches provide overarching support to over 7,000 small and marginal farmers every year. Additionally, in a bid to reach out to the most underprivileged cohorts, 134 high-density nano-orchard horticulture bio diversity plots have been developed on ancestral plots owned by tribal women farmers. Moreover, by integrating pioneering approaches to its developmental projects, Pernod Ricard India has revived two sustainable value chains of non-timber forest products with people-centered innovations.
In light of the significance of agri-allied livelihoods in India – an agricultural country – Pernod Ricard India is furthering regenerative and restorative approaches for the sustainable use of resources. It has been successfully encouraging farming communities to institutionalize Natural Resource Management, wherein silt application, soil health and nutrition fortification along with the promotion of low-cost organic farming and vermicomposting have taken centre stage. With nearly 7,532 farmers engaged in regenerative agriculture, the interventions have resulted in bringing down input costs, increasing yields and generating additional sources of income for the farmers.
Recognizing the pivotal role of women empowerment in rural development, the WAL program encompasses their participation in greater numbers in shaping the rural landscape. Pernod Ricard India has created 77 Women Producer Groups in Madhya Pradesh’s Shivpuri to tap the entrepreneurial acumen of women farmers. The program reached its pinnacle of success with the formation of a Farmer Producer Organization comprising all women board members and shareholders from the country’s rural communities.