WC: Select farmers to bat for team India in Wankhede stadium

Team India in Wankhede stadium
Mumbai, Apr 2: Even as a large number of people are disappointed at not getting tickets and passes for the World Cup 2011 final today, a select group of farmers will be there to cheer India at the Wankhede stadium here.

In one of its kind initiative, food and beverages maker PepsiCo, which is a global sponsor of ICC, as part of its farmer engagement program, had arranged for select farmers to see the world cup matches.

A total of 84 farmers have already watched ICC Cricket World Cup played at seven locations across India while three farmers from Maharashtra will get to see the final match today, according to the company.

"It is a dream come true for me to watch the cricket match at Wankhede stadium. I had never imagined that I would ever watch the final match. I will be shouting out aloud "Indiaaaaaa Jeetega Jeetega Indiaaaaa". I am sure India will win the game," Mahadev Mandave (47), a farmer from Kumathe village in Satara, Maharashtra told PTI here.

Another farmer Ram Todkar (35) from Manchar village in Pune who will watch the match is all excited to witness the final game from close quarters.

"I am very happy...have no words to express my happiness. I am sure Sachin Tendulkar will make a century and we will win the match," Todkar said.

The farmers were chosen based on their commitment to delivering quality crops over the years.

"PepsiCo has always believed in developing sustainable partnerships in agriculture and this initiative is a small gesture to thank our partner farmers. It gives us immense satisfaction to see the excitement on the faces of the farmers," PepsiCo India Region, CEO  Foods, Varun Berry said.

PepsiCo which is the largest processor of potatoes in India procures potatoes for manufacturing potato chips.

We have established a model of partnership with over 22,000 farmers. It has improved their livelihoods as we provide support to them through bank loans, quality seeds, disease control packages, weather insurance and latest technological practices, Berry said.


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