Walmart Foundation to invest $25 million to improve life of Indian farmers

Based on inputs by Shahid Kazi

Global retail giant Walmart will invest Rs 181 crore till 2023 to improve the livelihood of Indian farmers in keeping with the government’s ambitious goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022. The retail giant would also increase its direct sourcing from farmers to 25 per cent of produce sold in its Cash and Carry stores over the next five years.

“Walmart Foundation will invest $25 million to improve farmer livelihoods over the next five years, working beyond our Indian arm’s supply chain. Smallholder farmers are the backbone of the Indian economy, with over 50 per cent of the workforce employed in the sector. The fund will be used to support farmer organisations in developing knowledge of sustainable farming practices, share business best practices, add value to primary agricultural commodities and improve access to finance and markets,” noted the statement. Our aim is to empower multiple farmer organisations and connect them into a nationwide farmer-support network.” said the US-based company in a statement in Bengaluru.

The Foundation would also work with non-government organisations (NGOs) to support farmer producer groups, develop best practices and demonstration sites across the country.

Announcing the funding initiative in Lucknow, Walmart International Chief Executive Judith McKenna said the company would create more opportunities for smallholder farmers with more local sourcing of agri-produce for its supply chain and stores across the country.

“Our game plan is to strengthen the supply chain and local businesses and ensure better life for smallholder farmers and their families,” he added.

Walmart employs 23 lakh people in 11,200 stores across 27 countries the world over and caters to a whopping 265 million customers, with 2.2 million associates, worldwide.