The Walmart Foundation on Thursday announced two new grants worth $4.5 million to help smallholder Indian farmers earn more from improved output and fair market access.
The grants are part of a commitment made in September 2018 to invest $25 million (nearly Rs 180 crore) over five years to improve farmer livelihoods in India.
Including these grants, the Walmart Foundation has invested $15 million with eight non-government organisations (NGOs) in the country, supporting programmes designed to impact more than 140,000 farmers, including nearly 80,000 women farmers, to date.
“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.
“We at the Walmart Foundation and our grantee partners are focused on supporting farmers to increase their resilience and sustainability for a better future.”
The new funding would allow non-profits Tanager and PRADAN to further scale their efforts to help farmers. Both grantees will focus on increasing opportunities for women farmers via farmer producer organisations (FPOs).
“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,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Flipkart Group chief executive officer and a member of the Walmart Foundation Board of Directors.
In the latest round, non-profit organisation Tanager will receive more than $2.6 million to extend its successful ‘Farmer Market Readiness’ (FMP) programme and help farmers in Andhra Pradesh further expand their knowledge, resources and reach.
The phase 2 of the programme will focus on strengthening the sustainability of 13 FPOs, 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 Professional Assistance for Development Action (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.
The LEAP programme is expected to reach out to 45,000 Indian women farmers directly, benefiting a population of about 225,000 people.