Bayer to support rural schools in Telangana to cultivate their own vegetables
Hyderabad, March 17, 2021: In December 2020, Bayer had launched small packs of its high-yielding Seminis® Vegetable Seeds with an aim to expand India’s home garden segment. The small packs were designed to offer flexibility and affordability to grow various hybrid seed varieties. In 2021, the ‘International Year of Fruits & Vegetables’, Bayer is taking its small packs to rural schools, by collaborating with state governments to promote kitchen gardens within school premises. This will not only enable schools to include nutritious vegetables in their midday meals for students, it will also help address broader concerns around hunger, malnutrition and micro-nutrient deficiency among school-going children.
At an event held today at the Collector’s Office in Narayanpet, Simon Wiebusch, Chief Operating Officer for Bayer Crop Science, handed over 150 small seed packs from Bayer and 20 PPE kits (Personal Protective Equipment) to Ms. Hari Chandana, District Collector, Narayanpet. The event was attended by 75 women smallholder farmers from Narayanpet and neighboring villages. Over the next few months, officials from the State Department of Agriculture, Government of Telangana, will collaborate with District Education Officers, Anganwadis and local farmers to distribute the seed packs across 150 rural schools (free of cost) in Telangana state. They will also support knowledge transfer and ‘seed to harvest’ agronomic advisory for successful vegetable cultivation.
The seed packs from Bayer include high-yielding Seminis® vegetable seeds in six horticulture crops: tomato, green chilli, hot pepper, cucumber, okra and sweet corn. The packs also come with simple guidelines on cultivating these vegetable crops, be it in the backyard or in pots, bags etc. The on-ground cultivation will be carried out under the guidance of schoolteachers and school children will be encouraged to play an active role and observe how vegetables are grown.
Speaking on behalf of Bayer, Simon Wiebusch, Chief Operating Officer for Bayer Crop Science, said, “Home and kitchen gardens are an excellent option for rural farming communities to grow safe, affordable and nutritious fruits and vegetables. We are very excited to partner with state governments to create awareness on the nutritional and health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption. In 2021, the ‘International Year of Fruits & Vegetables’, we will expand our school kitchen garden initiative across 15 states in India. School-run kitchen gardens will encourage children to participate in vegetable cultivation, understand the nutrition value from different food groups and eat vegetables more often.”