The Walmart Foundation has announced two grants totaling $4.8 million in support of smallholder farmers and farmer producer organizations (FPOs) in India.
Part of a five-year, $25 million commitment announced in 2018, the grants include $1.3 million to Digital Green, which is developing a digital data platform designed to provide better services for farmers in Andhra Pradesh. The effort will target FPOs — collectives that provide members with access to financing and other inputs and services and organize the collection, processing, storage, and marketing of their members' produce — in lower-income communities.
In addition, TechnoServe was awarded $3.5 million to help develop procurement and aggregation systems for up to twenty FPOs and train members of the collectives in the use of those systems. The program will also focus on teaching women smallholder farmers how to expand market options and extend support around sustainable agriculture practices to smallholder farmers in general. With the latest grants, the foundation has awarded a total of $10 million through the five-year initiative in support of eighty-one thousand farmers, including nearly thirty thousand women, in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh.
"The Walmart Foundation's support furthers our mission of using digital tools to amplify the impact for smallholder farmers, who are the backbone of India's agri-economy," said Vinay Kumar, Digital Green's managing director for Asia. "We'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."
"Increasing farmer incomes is a powerful call to action," said TechnoServe CEO William Warshauer. "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, we look forward to building on our decade-long experience creating lasting change in the country's agricultural sector."