Walmart Foundation on Tuesday announced a grant of $4.8 million, or Rs 34 crore, to two organisations focused on bringing technology practices to farming, as part of the retailer's commitment to improving farmer livelihood in India.
The grants were given to Digital Green, a global development firm bringing tech tools to farmers in India and Ethiopia, and TechnoServe, a Washington-headquartered non-profit working in the Indian farm sector for many years.
Bringing farmers access to agriculture technology, training on sustainable farming methods, enhanced access to formal markets, and skill and capacity building for farmer producer organisations (FPOs) are the goals of the grant, Walmart Foundation said in a press statement.
With this, the foundation has contributed over $10 million (approximately Rs 71 crore), which it says is bringing meaningful change to the lives of 81,000 farmers in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.
In September 2018, it had committed to contribute $25 million (approximately Rs 180 crore) over the next five years in India. Separately, Walmart India had announced it would grow its direct sourcing from farmers to 25 per cent of produce sold in its cash & carry stores by 2023.
The "grant announcement builds upon the Walmart Foundation's efforts to increase economic opportunity for smallholder farmers and their families while promoting sustainable farming practices and the empowerment and inclusion of women," said Kathleen McLaughlin, president, Walmart Foundation, and executive vice-president and chief sustainability officer at Walmart.
"The work being accomplished by our grantees and their partners is inspiring. We hope the Walmart Foundation's commitment, alongside the work of Walmart and Walmart India's direct farm sourcing teams, will help drive real momentum in sustainable agriculture development in India and we encourage others to join us in our commitment," McLaughlin said.