Andhra Pradesh/New Delhi, March 27, 2019: Ten thousand smallholder farmers in Andhra Pradesh are set to benefit from the introduction of sustainable irrigation products and practices under a program offered by International Development Enterprises - India (IDEI) and supported with funding from the Walmart Foundation.
Providing a grant of US $750,000, the Walmart Foundation will help IDEI take its Integrating Smallholder Farmers Into Market Systems program to ten districts in the state. The program aims to introduce sustainable irrigation products and practices and create a complementary support ecosystem that will boost farm yields, reduce negative environmental impacts, and increase market access and smallholder farmer income.
The program is expected to generate an additional $7.4 million in annual farming income in the state at the end of the project period, with individual gains of $400 per smallholder farmer household per year1. Substantial water savings in agriculture are also anticipated, amounting to 33.4 million m3 of water saved for the state during the program2.
More than 62% of the population of Andhra Pradesh are dependent on agriculture3, and yet many farmers live in poverty and lack access to irrigation systems or other technologies to help them improve their productivity and income.
Sustainable agricultural products with practices are the keystone of the IDEI program. It will target smallholder farming families with irrigation interventions and support for market-oriented development. Introducing sustainable irrigation will help smallholder farmers increase the planting and harvesting window, increase yields, and enable greater crop variety and productivity, unlocking new market opportunities. It will also generate cost savings and reduce negative environmental impact by curbing excess water and Fossil Fuel consumption.
IDEI will also work to catalyze an ecosystem of entrepreneurs to provide access to affordable water-use productivity technologies and practices and for the maintenance and upkeep of these systems. These complementary activities can further enhance economic opportunities in the target regions of Andhra Pradesh.
“Income poverty affects 1.3 billion people around the world and is a huge challenge. But simple solutions, like affordable modern irrigation, can make a massive difference. We have already helped more than 8 million people of farming families improve their output and standard of living, and we are determined to now do the same for tens of thousands of smallholders in Andhra Pradesh,” said Amitabha Sadangi, Chief Executive of IDEI.
Angamuthu a smallholder farmer from Tamil Nadu installed a drip-type irrigation system. “Before we never had enough money for our subsistence, but now we have surplus money to educate our children because of increased yield with all the support rendered by IDEI promoted drip.”, he said.
The IDEI grant is a part of the Walmart Foundation’s commitment, announced in September 2018, to invest US $25 million (approximately ₹180 crores) in philanthropic initiatives to improve farmer livelihoods in India over the next five years.
With this commitment, the Walmart Foundation is focused on empowering Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to serve as sustainable intermediaries that can help smallholders grow their incomes and improve their livelihoods. It aims to support FPOs and their farmer members to develop sustainable farming practices, share business best practices, add value to primary commodities, and improve access to financing and markets. Under this commitment, an almost US $2 million grant to the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, was launched in Andhra Pradesh last year with the unveiling of a groundnut processing facility.
“We are pleased to support organizations such as IDEI who have expertise and a solid track record in strengthening farmers’ agricultural skills. This approach helps to create sustainable livelihoods for farmers by increasing production and helps to preserve important natural resources for the future”, said Karrie Denniston, Senior Director, Walmart Foundation.
International Development Enterprises India (IDEI) is an Indian not-for-profit enterprise committed to providing long-term solutions to poverty, hunger, and malnutrition. It encourages the development of a sustainable and free market by creating demand for affordable technologies and ensuring a sustainable supply chain. IDEI has worked in 15 states in India. Over the years, IDEI has reached out to over 1.5 million smallholder farmer households impacting more than 8 million people.
Making small-plot agriculture more profitable and thereby reducing poverty remains IDEI’s guiding philosophy. IDEI’s technology is designed to be one-fifth the cost of comparable solutions and to scale down to fit plots as small as one-tenth of a hectare, enabling farmers to generate sales at unsubsidized market prices.
IDEI’s technologies include treadle pumps, and drip and sprinkler irrigation systems. These low- cost solutions are manually powered and simple and inexpensive to maintain, offering a high return on investment. On average, they help farmers earn an additional $400 in net additional income per year.
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 27 countries, employing more than 2.2 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.
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