In a boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022, global retailer Walmart has committed towards investing nearly Rs 180 crore, which will help improving the livelihoods of small scale farmers in the country over the coming five years.
Walmart seeks to grow its direct sourcing from farmers for its cash and carry retail business in India. “Walmart Foundation will invest $25 million to improve farmer livelihoods over the next five years, working beyond our Indian arm’s supply chain,” said Walmart India in a statement.
The US retail giant, which earlier this year acquired homegrown e-commerce player Flipkart for $16 billion, said that it would increase its direct sourcing from farmers to 25 percent of produce sold in its Cash and Carry stores by the year 2023. “Smallholder farmers are the backbone of the Indian economy, with over 50 per cent of the workforce employed in the sector,” the company said.
Walmart also said that the funds will be used to develop knowledge of sustainable farming practice among farmer organisations, share best business practices and improve access to finance and markets.
In order to support farmer producer groups, develop best practices and demonstration sites across the country, the Walmart Foundation will work with non-government organisations (NGOs), the company said. “Our aim is to empower multiple farmer organisations and connect them into a nationwide farmer-support network,” company added.
It was in the year 2017, the Walmart Foundation had invested $2 million in Tanager to execute the Farmer Market Readiness Project in Andhra Pradesh. The project had then aimed to provide farmers with the knowledge, resources, and services to extend their market-readiness and expand their reach.
In this budget, the government has doubled the budget for agriculture to Rs 2.12 lakh crore with an aim to achieve its objective of doubling farm income by 2022.