US-based charity Walmart Foundation will offer grants to non-profit organisations in the area of collectivisation and farm aggregation to assist 1 million Indian smallholder farmers, at least 50% of them women, to improve their livelihoods as part of its new five-year strategy.

The grants will be given to non-profit organisations working with the aim of boosting farmer incomes across several states including Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, a statement issued by the Foundation said. The implementing partners of the Foundation are expected to support capacity-building efforts of farmer producer organisations (FPOs), help provide farmers better access to market linkages and train them on sustainable farming methods and technology, with a focus on empowering women.

It has announced two new grants – $3 million to TechnoServe to provide assistance to 24 farmer producer organisations (FPOs) and 30,000 farmers in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh another $533,876 grant to Trickle Up, to assist 1,000 women smallholder farmers in Odisha, by connecting them with two FPOs.

"The Walmart Foundation’s latest commitment to expanding market access for smallholder farmers in India builds on our efforts to identify solutions that can systemically help create shared value for all stakeholders. Strategic philanthropy can act as a strong instrument in rewiring yesterday’s systems and enhancing economic opportunities for smallholder farmers while promoting the inclusion and empowerment of women," Kathleen McLaughlin, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Walmart Inc. and President, Walmart Foundation, said. 

The new five-year strategy is an extension of the Walmart Foundation’s investments since 2018 to improve farmer livelihoods in India and expand their access to commercial goods markets. Surpassing its initial goal of $25 million invested, the Walmart Foundation has funded philanthropic grants supporting smallholder farmers in India totalling just over $39 million through 24 grant programs with 16 grantees. 

Grants span the states of Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh, the statement said. According to the Foundation, these projects will cumulatively support over 800,000 smallholder farmers. This new commitment reaffirms the Walmart Foundation’s work to expand market access for smallholder farmers across India by leveraging its scale, networks and strategic philanthropy, it stated.

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