Walmart Foundation makes fresh grant to help small farmers in India; takes total corpus to $10M
The Walmart Foundation, the philanthropic arm of global retailer Walmart, has announced $4.8 million (approximately Rs 34 crore) in grants to Digital Green and TechnoServe. This is to enable programmes that help smallholder farmers have access to agriculture technology, training on sustainable farmer methods, enhanced access to formal markets, and skill and capacity building for farmer producer organisations (FPOs).
These grants are a part of the Walmart Foundation’s commitment made in September 2018 to contribute $25 million (approximately Rs 180 crore) over the next five years to improve farmer livelihoods in India.
Separate from this commitment, Walmart India also announced it would grow its direct sourcing from farmers to 25 percent of produce sold in its Cash & Carry stores by 2023.
Walmart Foundation is helping in the livelihood of marginal farmers - picture courtesy Walmart
Walmart President and CEO Dough McMillon said, “Walmart remains committed to the India market and we are deeply invested in working with small suppliers in the country including the farmers who grow food and agricultural products for our stores. Last year, the Walmart Foundation made a commitment to invest $25 million to improve farmer livelihoods in India over the next five years. We’re well underway towards fulfilling this commitment.”
From the latest grant, the Walmart Foundation has contributed over $10 million (approximately Rs 71 crore) toward its goal of $25 million. These grants are expected to create a meaningful impact to more than 81,000 farmers, including more than 29,030 women farmers (many of whom are organised into FPOs) across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh.
Walmart.org, through the combined philanthropic efforts of both Walmart and the Walmart Foundation, recognises the challenges smallholder farmers face in sustainably growing their production and in forging linkages to finance, infrastructure, and markets.
“Today’s grant announcement builds upon the Walmart Foundation’s efforts to increase economic opportunity for smallholder farmers and their families while promoting sustainable farming practices and the empowerment and inclusion of women,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, Walmart Foundation President and EVP, Chief Sustainability Officer of Walmart.
The foundation’s grant of $1.3 million (approximately Rs 9 crore) to the Digital Green will help develop ‘Farmstack’, a digital data platform designed to provide better services and enhance the livelihoods of Andhra Pradesh farmers, specifically targeting lower-income communities in farmer producer organisations.
TechnoServe will use its $3.5 million grant (approximately Rs 25.2 crore) to help develop and train up to 20 FPOs and facilitate market linkages by setting up procurement and aggregation systems. The programme will also focus on training women smallholders to help expand their market options, as well as extend support to smallholder farmers on sustainable agriculture practices. With this funding, TechnoServe aims to boost incomes for 25,000 farmers (50 percent of whom will be women).
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)