Mumbai: French retailer Carrefour SA, the world’s second largest retail group by sales, has started a corporate social responsibility, or CSR, project in India to train thousands of farmers in global farming practices, said a person familiar with the development.
Around 500 families—across Haryana and Uttar Pradesh—have already been covered by the initiative, said the person who didn’t want to be named. The company is now firming up plans to take the initiative to Maharashtra, where it will focus on the Pune region.
Delhi and Pune are the cities where the company wants to set up its first two cash-and-carry outlets by the end of 2009.
CSR initiative: Carrefour India managing director Herve Clech. Ramesh Pathania / Mint
“By the end of the year, the company will have covered more than 1,500 families, after which it will expand the scope of the CSR initiative,” the person said. “Among other things, the CSR team also teaches them negotiation techniques and how to negotiate the best price for their produce.”
“The group has also employed Indian crop experts who are able to talk to the farmers in their own language, so that the message is conveyed effectively. The foreign experts, who have been brought, also address problems that the farmers face at ground level”, the person added.
Carrefour India managing director Herve Clec’h confirmed through the company’s public relations firm that it has started a pilot phase of the project, adding that it was premature to share further details.