DUBLIN; April 29, 2010 – Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and Concern today announced that the Accenture Foundations have awarded Concern US $1.5 million to fund the development of conservation farming programs in Zambia and Malawi. The grant will be used to educate and assist local farmers and communities in sustainable farming practices.
The award is part of Accenture’s corporate citizenship focus -- Skills to Succeed -- which educates people around the world, building skills that enable them to participate in and contribute to the economy. The three-year Concern project will train 6,400 farmers in Malawi and Zambia in conservation agriculture techniques. Local trainers will provide participating farmers with the skills necessary to attain food security and harvest surplus produce.
In addition to the grant, Accenture will continue supporting Concern with pro-bono consulting services, which range from advice on developing Concern’s business strategy to volunteering hands-on support for the organization.
“As part of Accenture’s commitment to building skills, we are helping Concern bring critical new techniques to farmers, which will help them sustain their families and their communities,” said Jill Huntley, senior director, Corporate Citizenship at Accenture. “Moreover, our relationship with Concern draws on our people’s passion, experience and commitment to developing and nurturing talent and is aimed at making a significant, lasting impact on the economic well-being of individuals and their communities.”
“This is one of the largest single private sector grants received by Concern in recent years for the support of one specific project,” said Concern CEO Tom Arnold. “This project is all about encouraging and training farmers to take a radically different approach to crop production. We have good evidence from our work in Zimbabwe that conservation farming leads to higher crop yields and therefore increased food security. We are delighted that Accenture is giving us the opportunity to develop conservation agriculture skills with farmers in Malawi and Zambia. I believe that this project will not only equip thousands of farmers and their families with new skills and a sustainable future but will also enable parents to save enough to send their children to school every year.”
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 181,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. Accenture is committed to being a good corporate citizen – dedicated to minimizing its environmental impact and helping individuals around the world build skills that enable them to participate in and contribute to the economy. The company generated net revenues of US$21.58 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2009. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
Concern Worldwide is a non-governmental, international, humanitarian organisation dedicated to reducing suffering and eliminating extreme poverty in the world’s poorest countries. Since its inception in Ireland in 1968 Concern has worked tirelessly across the world to eliminate poverty and to help individuals and communities obtain the resources necessary to assert their human right to food, shelter, heath and education. Concern’s mission is to help people who are living in extreme poverty achieve improvements in their lives, improvements that are sustainable in the long term and which in the future will exist with Concern support. For more information on Concern please visit www.concern.net
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