The Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd. (TAFE) – ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative has been at the forefront of highlighting the importance of farmers and, helping the urban society appreciate the hard work of farmers through various digital media communications and through on-ground activities which has brought farmers and the urban population together. These efforts were validated with the ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative winning Awards at the IAA Olive Crown Awards, PRCI’s Corporate Collaterals Award, ACEF’s 7th Global Customer Engagement Awards, the Rural Marketing Forum & Awards and, the Making of Developed India Awards.
TAFE was also bestowed the Chanakya Award in the category ‘Communication Idea of the Year’ for the ‘TAFE – Be a #FarmDost’ initiative by The Public Relations Council of India (PRCI) during the 12th Global Communication Conclave held in Pune. The TAFE Group was among the top winners, winning 15 awards across different categories.
At the prestigious IAA Olive Crown Awards 2018 hosted by International Advertising Association (IAA) India Chapter in Mumbai, TAFE was awarded the Silver Olive Crown in the Events category for its Be a #FarmDost initiative’s, ‘National Farmers’ Day’ event for ‘Creative Excellence in Communicating Sustainability’. And at the Asia Pacific Customer Engagement Forum’s (ACEF) ‘7th Global Customer Engagement Awards’, TAFE’s ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative won two Gold Awards. One for its ‘National Farmers’ Day’ event for the ‘Successful use of CSR Activity’ in the Events & Promotions category, and one for its #ThankYouTohBol TV commercial for ‘Creativity’ in the Television category.
TAFE’s ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative was also recognized as the ‘Social Development Campaign of the Year’ by the Rural Marketing Forum & Awards. The Award recognizes development and integrated marketing concepts, whichaim to bring about social change for the greater good. The initiative was also Awarded at the Making of Developed India Awards, in the ‘Best Marketing Campaign of the Year (Agriculture)’ category. The award recognizes the efforts of an organization/team to increase awareness for a particular product or service.
The world’s third largest tractor manufacturer and second largest in India by volumes with an annual sale of over 150,000 tractors, TAFE is one of the leading exporters of tractors from India with a turnover in excess of INR 93 billion. TAFE manufactures a range of tractors in the sub 100 hp segment in both, the air-cooled and water-cooled platforms and markets them under its four iconic brands – Massey Ferguson, TAFE, Eicher and the recently acquired IMT brand. Its over 1,000 strong distribution network covers the entire length and breadth of India. Apart from India, its products have found excellent acceptance in over 100 countries across the world, including developed countries in Europe and the Americas.
Besides tractors and farm machinery, TAFE manufactures diesel engines, silent gensets, batteries, hydraulic pumps and cylinders, gears and transmission components, and has business interest in vehicle franchises and plantations. TAFE is committed to the Total Quality Movement (TQM) and three of its tractor plants are certified under ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.
TAFE launched the ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative with the aim to help the urban and semi-urban population understand the importance of a farmer in their lives. The initiative wants to raise empathy by encouraging people to step into the farmer’s shoes, even if for a small while. The idea stems from the thought that if people realize the effort it takes to cultivate a single crop, they would truly realize what the average farmer has to go through, day in and day out.
The ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative is simple, to show gratitude to the farmers who are responsible for sustaining and nourishing us. Launched in April 2015, the initiative is spearheaded by the Corporate Communications team of TAFE. In its first phase, TAFE encouraged the urban population to become farmers in a small way using the #FarmDost seed kit to cultivate crops at home, thereby realizing the effort that goes into the food they eat every day. People were also challenged to meet farmers and thank them for their hard work that nourishes and sustains the world. To support this mission, activities have been carried out throughout the country apart from the daily activity on all its online communities.
The ‘National Farmers’ Day’ by TAFE – Be a #FarmDost was held in December 2017 bringing together the urban residents of Bengaluru, and farmers from nearby regions, on a farm to live the farm life and celebrate ‘Farmers’ Day’ with the farmers. The event got urban residents to become farmers for a day, engage with them, and realize the effort and hard work put in by the farmer to cultivate the food that sustains and nourishes the world. The participants got the experience of, cultivating in a farm (teak, pomegranate or sandalwood sapling); tending to a farm by, harvesting red chilies and radish, and de-weeding the farm; making organic fertilizer; taking a tractor ride; and creating a mock farm in teams with the farmers, during the ‘Build-a-Farm’ challenge. The event channeled all the participants’ inner farmer by the activities, which they enjoyed – discovering the joys of farming.
The ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative is primarily driven online, building a global community of #FarmDosts, reaching out to them across media and platforms. The aim is to communicate with and bring like-minded people together who relate to the cause and bring the farmer back into social consciousness. Within a short span, the #FarmDost community grew to become 1 million strong on Facebook and is steadily growing. It also has a notable presence on other platforms like Linkedin, YouTube, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Instagram.
The ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative’s simple yet powerful message of gratitude and appreciation for the farmers and the profession of farming has resonated with society and is inspiring people to realize the true value of the invisible hero – the farmer.