March 27, 2019
Last year, the Walmart Foundation committed US$25 million (approximately Rs. 180 crores) to philanthropic initiatives to improve farmer livelihoods in India over the next five years. Today, the organization announced two recipients of those funds - International Fertilizer Development Center and International Development Enterprises India.
Both work to strengthen agricultural production systems, but they approach the challenge in remarkably different ways. International Fertilizer Development Center’s project, “Accelerating Farm Incomes (AFI): Building Sustainable Soil Health, Markets and Productivity in Telangana State,” takes a whole-farm systems approach, providing production sustainability interventions, strengthening the farmer organization and creating market linkages for 30,000 rural and peri-urban farmers. Meanwhile, International Development Enterprises India aims to introduce sustainable irrigation products and practices in the state of Andhra Pradesh and create a complementary support ecosystem that will boost farm yields, reduce negative environmental impacts, and increase market access and smallholder farmer income, with a potential gain of $400 per smallholder farmer household per year.
The Indian economy depends on the agriculture sector as its prime driver toward sustainable growth, development and poverty alleviation. Not only does agriculture meet the food and nutritional requirements of 1.3 billion Indians, it also provides employment and income for millions of smallholder farmers and their families. The sector is, however, currently facing challenges. While it has made large strides in achieving food security, availability and accessibility, India faces a serious crisis in that much of its soil suffers from severe nutrient deficiencies.
The grant from the Walmart Foundation is just one way the organization is working to help raise rural incomes, strengthen local communities in India, and help people around the world live better every day.