After nearly five years, a team of John Deere managers recently returned to three villages in rural Rajasthan, India, with great anticipation and a simple purpose: to see whether the Joint Initiative for Village Advancement (JIVA) was living up to its name.
JIVA, which means “life” and “livelihood” in the local Mewari dialect, is a joint project of the John Deere Foundation and PYXERA Global that is designed to empower smallholder farming communities to improve their lives through agricultural training, educational enrichment, and capacity-building. The John Deere team, which included Chairman and CEO Sam Allen, first recognized the project’s potential while volunteering in the same villages in 2011. Five years after that initial visit and three years since JIVA’s launch, the John Deere team returned to Rajasthan to see what JIVA had brought to life. What they saw was amazing.