Partnership with Agribusiness Systems International to assist 15,000 farmers
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 funding will enable ASI to implement the Farmer Market Readiness Project in India’s Andhra Pradesh State. It will provide farmers with the knowledge, resources and services to enhance their market-readiness and expand their reach. The goal is to improve the livelihoods of 15,000 farmers and their families and communities over the coming two years.
The Market Readiness Project will encourage farmers to work together and help them learn new skills to improve their productivity and the quality of their produce. As a key part of the program, ASI will promote closer links between buyers and farmers. Facilitating meetings prior to the planting season will let diverse buyers share their insights into upcoming market demand, standards, and prices and allow farmers to manage planting and crop rotation to maximize profits.
Walmart is committed to improving the livelihoods of small- and medium-sized farmers in growing economies. It supports such farmers through its global sourcing program, providing technical assistance and training programs to increase farmer income. Walmart Foundation broadens this effort to address more systemic barriers that prevent farmers from increasing their productivity and market access. This includes building infrastructure support systems, introducing market-enabling technology, increasing access to finance, and providing training on business and farming skills and international food standards.
Walmart Foundation funded training for a million farmers and farm workers in 15 countries between 2011 and 2016. Half of those trained were women. Walmart’s current focus is on programs to support farmers in India and Mexico.
Julie Gehrki, vice president, programs for Walmart Foundation, said: “Smallholder farmers are vital to ensuring sustainable access to nutritious food around the world. The Walmart Foundation is proud to launch this effort to support small-scale farmers in Andhra Pradesh as they grow their skills and create opportunities for their families and community. The approach that ASI is taking to the work is one that looks at how a range of actors – from government to financial institutions and local 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 farmers in Andhra Pradesh will help unlock the potential of farmer livelihoods for generations by focusing on sustainable and transparent partnerships with public and private sector supply chain actors. In Andhra Pradesh, private sector actors are eager to engage more closely with smallholder farmers. This represents a great opportunity for these farmers to reach bigger and better markets through private sector engagement. ”
Dan Bryant, SVP, global public policy and government affairs for Walmart announced the partnership with ASI at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, India. Now in its eighth year, the annual Summit seeks to empower entrepreneurs to build partnerships, secure funding and explore new markets. The focus this year is on supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth globally.
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About Philanthropy at Walmart By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. Walmart has stores in 28 countries, employing more than 2.3 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Our philanthropy helps people live better by supporting upward job mobility and economic development for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where Walmart operates and inspiring our associates to give back. Whether it is helping to lead the fight against hunger in the United States with $2 billion in cash and in-kind donations or supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment through a series of grants totaling $10 million to the Women in Factories training program in Bangladesh, China, India and Central America, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are not only working to tackle key social issues, we are also collaborating with others to inspire solutions for long-lasting systemic change.