The heir to the throne has announced plans for a special fund to help India's farmers break out of poverty. Prince Charles made the announcement at the annual gala of the British Asian Trust (BAT), an organisation that works towards ending poverty in South Asia through the British Asian diaspora.
The new fund for Indian farmers is believed to be "worth millions of pounds", the Economic Times reported. However, the details of the fund have not yet been disclosed and are likely to be announced later in the year. BAT's annual gala took place at the Natural History Museum in London on the night of 3 February.
Speaking at the gala, Prince Charles said: "An area of work that I was particularly excited to see get under way in recent months is my trust taking a more in-depth look at the issues faced by rural farmers in India with the aim of establishing a dedicated fund."
The 67-year-old Royal said that the fund would implement international that "research clearly points out is needed" and described India's agriculture industry as a "vitally important" sector of the economy, as well as "one that nearly half the rural houses in India rely on as the principle means of livelihood".
Prince Charles announced that BAT's focus on their India farmer project would be specific to farmers with small holdings. He explained: "These smaller holder farmers often realise only a small proportion of the value of their products and can get caught in a poverty trap with no obvious way out. By making real inroads into helping the sector upscale, the fund will increase productivity in a sustainable way and make a staggering difference to so many lives."
BAT has also finalsied a project to work on its "largest-ever fund", which will be dedicated to work in Pakitan in the supporting of skill training for the country's most disadvantaged people. The Trust is believed to be engaging with the UK Department for International Development (DfID) to launch a nationwide appeal to raise £3m for South Asian communities around the world. Through the partnership, DfID will match every pound, marking BAT's first public appeal since it began in 2007.
The annual BAT gala raised a total of £900,000 through their charity auction, with notable brand ambassadors such as filmmaker Gurdinder Chadha and actor Sanjeev Bhaskar having attended the event. Other ambassadors of the Trust include Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid and former One Director member Zayn Malik.