Mumbai, April 2 (IANS) Two lucky farmers from Maharashtra and one from Punjab were among the thousands of spectators who witnessed the India-Sri Lanka cricket World Cup final at the Wankhede Stadium here Sturday.
When several people were fighting to get tickets, these farmers were lucky enough to get selected in a first-of-its-kind initiative by PepsiCo India.
PepsiCo’s food division invited 84 partner farmers from places like Maharastra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnatka and Punjab, based on their exceptional commitment to delivering quality crops over the years.
The excited farmers were Ram Todkar from Pune district, Mahadev Mandve from Satara district and Gurmukh Singh from Faletgad in Punjab.
“It is very exciting. It has been my dream to watch a live match when Sachin Tendulkar played and it has come true. I am glad about my association with PepsiCo,” said Todkar, who comes from a small village in Pune district.
Mandve, on the other hand, just could not hide his excitement.
“I still can’t believe I am here. It will be the best experience to cheer for Sachin’s century today and also India’s victory,” said an excited Mandve.
PepsiCo, having pioneered and established a model of partnership with farmers, now works with over 22,000 farmers across ten states.
More than 45 percent of these are small and marginal farmers with a land holding of one acre or less.
“PepsiCo has always believed in developing sustainable partnerships in agriculture and this initiative is a small gesture to thank our partner farmers,” said Varun Berry, chief executive officer, foods, of PepsiCo India.
“It gives us immense satisfaction to see the excitement on the faces of the farmers we work with and there are a few things better than a cricket World Cup final,” he added.
PepsiCo is the global sponsor of the International Cricket Council (ICC).