Walmart Foundation Announces 2 New Grants of $10 MN to Benefit 81,000 Small Farmers in India
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.
Deepening its commitment to improving farmer livelihoods in India, the Walmart Foundation today announced $4.8 million (approximately Rs. 34 crores) in grants to Digital Green and TechnoServe to enable programs 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 organizations (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 the produce sold in its Cash & Carry stores by 2023.
With today’s announcement, the Walmart Foundation has contributed over $10 million (approximately Rs. 71 crores) toward its $25 million goal. 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 organized into FPOs) in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.
Walmart.org, through the combined philanthropic efforts of both Walmart and the Walmart Foundation, recognizes the challenges smallholder farmers face in sustainably growing their production and in forging linkages to finance, infrastructure and markets. As such, Walmart.orgis working to address systemic barriers that prevent smallholder farmers and FPOs in India, Mexico and Central America from increasing their access to markets and improving their livelihoods as well as creating an opportunity for entrepreneurship in South Africa.
Kathleen McLaughlin, Walmart Foundation President and EVP, Chief Sustainability Officer of Walmart, said that 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. The work being accomplished by their grantees and their partners is inspiring. They hope the Walmart Foundation’s commitment, alongside the work of Walmart and Walmart India’s direct farm sourcing teams, will help drive real momentum in sustainable agriculture development in India and they encourage others to join them in their commitment.
The Walmart 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 for and enhance the livelihoods of Andhra Pradesh farmers, specifically targeting lower-income communities in farmer producer organizations. Vinay Kumar, Managing Director, Asia, Digital Green said that the Walmart Foundation's support furthers their mission of using digital tools to amplify the impact for smallholder farmers, who are the backbone of India's agri-economy. They're grateful for the opportunity to work with smallholder farmers in improving their own livelihoods and those of others in their community, in a manner that’s nutrition-sensitive, climate-resilient, and inclusive.
TechnoServe will use its $3.5 million grant (approximately Rs 25.2 crores) to help develop and train up to 20 FPOs and facilitate market linkages by setting up procurement and aggregation systems. The program 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% of whom will be women).
William Warshauer, CEO of TechnoServe, said that increasing farmer incomes is a powerful call to action. Sustainable agricultural practices, market linkages, and effective management at the FPO level can boost smallholder farmers’ inclusion, incomes, and livelihoods across India. With the support of the Walmart Foundation, they look forward to building on their decade-long experience creating lasting change in the country’s agricultural sector, he said.
The announcements were made at the ‘Strengthening Agri Systems: Road to supporting smallholder farmers and boosting incomes’ Summit,’ which was jointly organized by Walmart.org and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in New Delhi. The summit includes leaders in the government, trade organizations, nonprofits, suppliers, retailers and others who are leading initiatives throughout all areas of the agriculture supply chain, from farm to fork, and aims to help engage key stakeholders across the sector to address the barriers faced by smallholder farmers and farmer producer organizations (FPOs). The event was inaugurated by Rameswar Teli, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, Government of India.