Walmart Foundation Increases Support for Smallholder Farmers in India, Furthering Women’s Empowerment
The Walmart Foundation today unveiled a new five-year strategy with the goal of reaching 1 million smallholder farmers by 2028, at least 50% of whom will be women, as part of its ongoing commitment to enhancing farmer livelihoods in India. In order to increase agricultural incomes across a number of states, including Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha, the grants will be made available to non-profit organisations working in the fields of collectivization and farm aggregation.
The Walmart Foundation grants will concentrate on empowering local grantees to better support farmer producer organisations (FPOs), expanding access to market linkages so they can participate in commercial opportunities more easily, and educating farmers on sustainable farming practises and technology, with a focus on emancipating women farmers. In addition to the new five-year plan, the Foundation also unveiled two new grants, including:
For smallholder farmers (SHFs) in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, TechnoServe will receive $3 million with the goal of reaching 24 FPOs and 30,000 farmers, 50% of whom are anticipated to be women.
A $533,876 grant to Trickle Up is intended to link 2 FPOs and 1,000 women SHFs in Odisha.
The Walmart Foundation has been investing in India’s farmers’ livelihoods and increasing their access to commercial goods marketplaces since 2018. This five-year plan is an extension of those efforts. The Walmart Foundation has supported philanthropic grants totaling just over $39 million for smallholder farmers in India through 24 grant programmes with 16 grantees, exceeding its original target of $25 million invested. Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh are among the governments that have received grants.
The grantees of the Walmart Foundation anticipate collectively supporting over 800,000 smallholder farmers through these expenditures. More than half of the farmers contacted are anticipated to be women, according to grantees who reported on gender. By utilising its size, networks, and strategic philanthropy, the Walmart Foundation will continue to work to increase market access for smallholder producers throughout India. The new grants will build on the findings of a recent impact study conducted by Sambodhi, an impact measurement company with headquarters in India, which evaluated the effectiveness of Walmart Foundation investments made thus far in enhancing livelihoods and incomes for Indian FPOs. The study looked at a number of initiatives proposed by NGO grantees in the area of building FPO capacity and found that interventions by implementing partners contributed to strengthened systems and processes at the FPO level, higher revenues and profitability, as well as increased representation of women in farm leadership and at the FPO level.
Important details include:
Participating FPOs are better able to supply inputs, support the selling of finished goods to a wider range of markets, and generate 29% more money on average than similar FPOs.
When compared to similar FPOs, a higher percentage of programme FPOs were profitable (72% vs. 42% on average).
A larger proportion of programme households started leasing land for cultivation, suggesting that programme beneficiaries are more confident about their ability to earn more money.
When compared to their peers, women farmers in FPOs assisted by Walmart Foundation-funded projects had considerably higher cropping intensities (210% vs. 149%), and they grew more high-value crops.
More than 40% of FPOs helped by NGO initiatives were involved in produce aggregation.
Many of the FPOs funded by Walmart Foundation recipients have begun producing millet-based goods, including ready-to-eat jowar meal and pearl millet flour, which are crucial for daily health.
Digitalization and expansion:
In order to manage FPO activities, finances, and connections with member farmers for the delivery of advice and services, 80% of programme beneficiaries used digital technology.
Participating FPOs demonstrated increased financial viability by significantly diversifying their commercial ventures and sources of revenue.
Crop advice (61%) and input advisory (27%) were the top three advisory services that programme farmers used over the previous 12 months.
According to the report, gender-sensitive programming is still a top priority for all implementing partners in order to guarantee that women have equitable access to resources and services and are prepared to meet challenges and seize opportunities.
The study confirmed the need to keep collaborating with grantees and making sure that a larger proportion of FPO members are receiving the benefits.
The welfare of smallholder farmers is one of the top objectives of the government, led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, as agriculture is the foundation of the Indian economy. In addition to implementing numerous measures to raise farmer incomes, the government has started the process of establishing more than 10,000 FPOs across the nation to assist farmers in receiving the highest possible yield on their produce. I applaud Walmart Foundation for making the commitment to assist 1 million farmers by 2028, and in particular for their emphasis on assisting women farmers.
Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar
The Walmart Foundation’s most recent pledge to increase smallholder farmers’ access to markets in India expands on our efforts to find approaches that can systemically support the creation of shared value for all stakeholders. In addition to improving economic prospects for smallholder farms and rewiring outdated systems, strategic philanthropy can also support the inclusion and empowerment of women.
President of the Walmart Foundation and Executive Vice President of Walmart Inc., Kathleen McLaughlin
The development of a robust and inclusive agriculture supply chain is a priority for Flipkart. We are building a comprehensive ecosystem that will enable farmers to prosper by utilising the opportunities that the digital economy offers in close collaboration with the Walmart Foundation and initiatives like Flipkart Krishi Samarth. We are aware of the empowerment effects that grocery has on local stakeholders. All of our initiatives are focused on assisting in the empowerment of women, particularly women farmers in this instance, and assuring inclusive growth.
Rajneesh Kumar is the Chief Corporate Affairs Officer and Senior Vice President of Flipkart.
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The charitable activities of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are represented by Walmart.org. By concentrating on areas where the company excels, Walmart.org seeks to address important social and environmental problems and works in partnership with others to bring about long-lasting structural change. Walmart operates stores in 20 different nations, employs over 2 million associates, and works with thousands of suppliers, each of whom has millions of employees. In order to improve people’s quality of life, Walmart.org supports initiatives that address hunger, advance equity, protect and restore nature, cut down on waste and emissions, strengthen communities where Walmart operates, and build inclusive economic opportunities for people in supply chains. Visit www.walmart.org or follow @Walmartorg on Twitter for more information.