An MoU was signed between MSSRF and the Gujarat based GNFC Ltd for an initiative on neem, on February 16, 2018 at MSSRF Chennai. Dr V Selvam, Executive Director, MSSRF and Dr Rajiv Kumar Gupta, IAS, Managing Director GNFC Ltd, signed it in the presence of Prof M S Swaminathan, for sharing of technology and capacity building, for women empowerment and organic farming.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Rajiv Kumar Gupta, shared the concept of how neem coated urea had been converted to an economic empowerment opportunity especially for women in rural areas. GNFC began procuring directly from rural communities leading to an income of 45 crore rupees for them over the past three years. “Economic emancipation goes hand in hand with social emancipation” said Dr Gupta, sharing how a UNDP study found the Neem project resulted in lower cases of domestic violence and migration.
Lauding the neem initiative, Prof Swaminathan, Founder MSSRF emphasised how the neem project was in line with MSSRF's vision of a pro-poor, pro-nature and pro-woman approach.