Walmart Foundation Supports Market Readiness for Farmers in India with a Grant of $2 million

HYDERABAD, India, November 30, 2017 – The Walmart Foundation today announced a grant of close to US$2 million to Agribusiness Systems International (ASI) to help smallholder farmers in India diversify the markets for their produce.

The fundingwill enable ASI to implement the Farmer Market Readiness Project inIndia’s Andhra Pradesh State. It will provide farmers with the knowledge,resources and services to enhance their market-readiness and expand theirreach. The goal is to improve the livelihoods of 15,000 farmers andtheir families and communities over the coming two years

The MarketReadiness Project will encourage farmers to work together and help them learnnew skills to improve their productivity and the quality of their produce. As akey part of the program, ASI will promote closer links between buyers andfarmers. Facilitating meetings prior to the planting season will let diversebuyers share their insights into upcoming market demand, standards, and pricesand allow farmers to manage planting and crop rotation to maximize profits. 

Walmart iscommitted to improving the livelihoods of small- and medium-sized farmers ingrowing economies. It supports such farmers through its global sourcingprogram, providing technical assistance and training programs to increase farmerincome. Walmart Foundation broadens this effort to address more systemicbarriers that prevent farmers from increasing their productivity and marketaccess. This includes building infrastructure support systems, introducingmarket-enabling technology, increasing access to finance, and providingtraining on business and farming skills and international food standards. WalmartFoundation funded training for a million farmers and farm workers in 15countries between 2011 and 2016. Half of those trained were women. Walmart’scurrent focus is on programs to support farmers in India and Mexico. 

JulieGehrki, vice president, programs for Walmart Foundation, said: “Smallholder farmers are vital toensuring sustainable access to nutritious food around the world. The WalmartFoundation is proud to launch this effort to support small-scale farmers inAndhra Pradesh as they grow their skills and create opportunities for theirfamilies and community. The approach that ASI is taking to the work is one thatlooks at how a range of actors – from government to financial institutions andlocal businesses – can all be a part of supporting farmers in this growth.” 

Amit Singh, ASI India Country Representative,said: “The Walmart Foundation’s support of smallholder farmersin Andhra Pradesh will help unlock the potential of farmer livelihoods forgenerations by focusing on sustainable and transparent partnerships with publicand private sector supply chain actors. In Andhra Pradesh, private sectoractors are eager to engage more closely with smallholder farmers. Thisrepresents a great opportunity for these farmers to reach bigger andbetter markets through private sector engagement. ”

DanBryant, SVP, global public policy and government affairs for Walmart announced thepartnership with ASI at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad,India. Now in its eighth year, the annual Summit seeks to empower entrepreneursto build partnerships, secure funding and explore new markets. The focus thisyear is on supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering economic growthglobally. 

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