Global retailer Walmart’s philanthropic arm, Walmart Foundation helps India’s smallholder farmers with grants, which will benefit over 140,000 farmers, including nearly 80,000 women.
Underscoring the importance of smallholder farmers to India’s post-pandemic recovery, the Walmart Foundation has announced two new grants as part of a commitment made in September 2018 to invest $25 million over five years to improve farmer livelihoods in India. The new funding, which totals $4.5 million, will allow non-profit organisations Tanager and Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN) to further scale their efforts to help farmers earn more from an improved output and fair market access. Both grantees will focus on increasing opportunities for women farmers via farmer producer organisations (FPOs).
“The global COVID-19 pandemic has increased pressure on India’s farmers, especially women farmers shouldering extra responsibilities in the household while seeing their incomes diminish overnight,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of Walmart Foundation and executive vice president and chief sustainability officer of Walmart Inc. “We at the Walmart Foundation and our grantee partners are focused on supporting farmers to increase their resilience and sustainability for a better future.”
In the latest round of Walmart Foundation grants, Tanager will receive more than $2.6 million to extend its successful Farmer Market Readiness Programme and help farmers in Andhra Pradesh further expand their knowledge, resources and reach. Phase Two of the programme will focus on strengthening the sustainability of 13 FPOs, seven of which are new to the programme, in order to help more than 15,000 farmers, including more than 5,600 women farmers, increase their productivity and profitability.
Delhi-based non-profit PRADAN will use its Walmart Foundation grant of $1.9 million to launch its Livelihood Enhancement through Market Access and Women Empowerment (LEAP) programme in West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand in eastern India. LEAP will focus on supporting women to work together in FPOs to adopt new farming practices, diversify and intensify their output and embark on profitable farming-related businesses.
As Walmart Foundation helps India’s smallholder farmers with grants, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Flipkart Group CEO and a member of the Walmart Foundation board of directors stated, “There is huge potential for innovative technology solutions to help farmers in India improve productivity and yield, access valuable market information and succeed as part of a more efficient and transparent supply chain. FPOs are key to the Foundation’s strategy for empowering farmers and bringing them into the digital era.”