Five years ago, in the village of Morra in northwest India, a farmer named Sita Kumawat struggled to support her family. With no formal agricultural training, Sita had no choice but to labor long hours growing crops in poor quality soil and with limited access to water.
Smallholder farmers like Sita grow approximately 80% of the developing world’s food. However, for many of these farmers, agricultural production doesn’t generate sufficient income for a viable livelihood.
In 2011, John Deere CEO Sam Allen and a team of employees worked side-by-side with Sita and other villagers in three communities in the state of Rajasthan, India, to learn firsthand the difficulties they face.
Inspired by the experience, the John Deere Foundation partnered with PYXERA Global to identify the area’s most pressing problems. Farming, education, and community capacity-building emerged as top priorities and the Joint Initiative for Village Advancement (JIVA) was born.
In 2016, Allen and his team returned to Rajasthan to see how JIVA has empowered Sita and other farmers to become food entrepreneurs. Read more about Sita and JIVA in the John Deere Journal.