Accelerating its commitment to improve farm recovery in India, the Walmart Foundation today announced a grant of over INR 40 million that will assist farmers across six states in India to manage with supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic, as well as sustain their farming operations. The grant will be presented to the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and its partner organizations that are supporting their local communities as they respond to COVID-19.
Farm operations in India have been beset by challenges such as the timely availability of inputs and decline in consumer demand with income implications for farmers. Ahead of the post-harvest period in India, the grant will help farmers mitigate disruptions in post-production supply chain while gaining access to market. It will also help fulfil their financial requirements to procure key inputs like seeds and key farm equipment by strengthening the operations and reach of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs).
With this new grant, ICRISAT will partner with eight other organizations, including Tanager, Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN), TrickleUp, International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), Grameen Foundation India, Digital Green India, TechnoServe and Heifer International, to further scale up their efforts on the ground towards building support and resilience for India’s farmers.
Kathleen McLaughlin, President of Walmart Foundation and Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer of Walmart Inc., said: “Farming communities across the world have been facing challenges with restricted access to farm inputs, markets and equipment, putting entire seasons at risk. To grow these small-scale farming communities in India, we are expanding our focus on digital access, business practices, logistical support and high-quality inputs, with our commitments already having reached over 1.4 lakhs farmers, including nearly 80,000 women farmers. Now this grant will help supplement these ongoing efforts on the ground and help farmers return to profitability in coming seasons.”
Dr Jacqueline Hughes, Director General, ICRISAT, said: “This grant from the Walmart Foundation will impact more than 24,000 farmers across Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. ICRISAT will contribute towards combating the COVID-19 pandemic-related impacts on the farming communities and beyond. We will use digital tools and technologies to overcome challenges and enhance the efficiency of agricultural value chains, ensure increased farmer participation and help them regain control over their incomes and livelihoods.”
In 2018, Walmart Foundation provided USD$2 million grant to ICRISAT to help create an improved business model that will help enhance farmers’ livelihoods. The grant is a part of Walmart Foundation’s USD$25 million commitment to India to help famers generate more income.