Walmart Foundation Expands Efforts to Support Smallholder Farmers in India
New Delhi: Expanding its commitment to improving farmer livelihoods in India,Walmart Foundationtoday announced a new five-year strategy that aims to reach 1 million smallholder farmers by 2028 with at least 50% women.The grants will be extended to non-profitorganizationsworking in the areas ofcollectivization and farm aggregation with the aim of boosting farmer incomesacross several states includingUttar Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
The Walmart Foundation grants will focus on enabling local grantees to better supportcapacity building for farmer producer organizations (FPOs), expandingaccess to market linkages so that they can participate in commercial opportunities more seamlessly, and trainingfarmers on sustainable farming methods andtechnology, with a particular focus on empowering women farmers.The Foundation announced two new grants alongside the new five-year strategy;they include: $3millionto TechnoServe for smallholder farmers in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh aiming to reach 24 FPOs and 30,000 farmers, with 50% of them expected to be women. $533,876 grant to Trickle Up aiming to reach 1,000 women smallholder farmers in Odisha, connecting them with two FPOs.
This five-year strategy is an extension of the Walmart Foundation’s investmentssince 2018 to improve farmer livelihoods in India and expand their access to commercial goods markets.Surpassing its initial goal of $25 million invested, the Walmart Foundation has funded philanthropic grants supporting smallholder farmers in India totaling just over $39 million through 24 grant programs with 16 grantees. Grants span the states of Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh. Through these investments, Walmart Foundation grantees project they will cumulatively support over 800,000 smallholder farmers.
On the occasion, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, the Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, said, “Agriculture forms the backbone of the Indian economy and the welfare of smallholder farmers is one of the top priorities of the government under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s leadership. Along with launching multiple measures to increase farmer incomes, the government has initiated setting up more than 10,000 FPOs in the country that will help them get the maximum return on their produced. I congratulate Walmart Foundation for committing to support 1 million farmers by 2028, and especially for their focus to benefit women farmers.”
Kathleen McLaughlin, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Walmart Inc.and President, Walmart Foundation, said,”The Walmart Foundation’slatest commitment to expanding market access for smallholder farmers in India builds on our efforts to identify solutions that can systemically help create shared value for all stakeholders. Strategic philanthropy can act as a strong instrument in rewiring yesterday’s systems and enhancing economic opportunities for smallholder farmers while promoting the inclusion and empowerment of women.”
Rajneesh Kumar, Senior Vice President, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart, said, “Flipkart is committed to building a resilient and inclusive agribusiness supply chain. We know that grocery empowers local stakeholders, and, working closely with the Walmart Foundation, and programs such as Flipkart Krishi Samarth, we are creating a holistic ecosystem that helps farmers prosper by leveraging the opportunities that the digital economy presents. Helping empower women,and in this case women farmers and ensuring inclusive growth is at the center of all our initiatives.”