Walmart Foundation has announced three new grants in Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal with an aim to empower smallholder farmers through the Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) framework.

This includes $1.7 million to ACCESS Development Services for economic empowerment and income enhancement of farmers in Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, $1.09 million to SRIJAN to improve the lives of small and marginal farmers and promote women as rural entrepreneurs, and $1.1 million to Action for Social Advancement (ASA) to enhance the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, both in Madhya Pradesh.

These projects are expected to reach 39 FPOs and over 60,000 smallholder farmers, Walmart Foundation said in a statement.

“Over the years, Walmart Foundation has invested in improving and strengthening the livelihoods of smallholder farmers through our grantee partners in India. We have invested over $25 million towards this since 2018. With the new grants of over $3.5 million, we hope to significantly advance the work of ACCESS Development Services, SRIJAN, and ASA in their efforts to build and empower FPOs through training on sustainable agriculture models. This will enable FPOs to enhance rural incomes and increase market access to farmers through the power of collectivisation,” said Julie Gehrki, Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer at Walmart Foundation.

Women-led FPOs

Through funding from the Walmart Foundation, ACCESS Development Services will implement the programme ‘UDAAN- Flight Out of Poverty’ aimed at enhancing the incomes of 12,000 smallholder farmers by strengthening FPOs and setting up inclusive value chains. The programme will strengthen the capacity of 20 FPOs in Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. As part of the programme, FPOs will be trained to engage in post-harvest management and embed climate-resilient agriculture practices, support the setting up of processing units, and help facilitate access to credit, services and markets. The project also focuses on women’s economic empowerment by strengthening both women-led FPOs as well as women members of all FPOs.

With funding from Walmart Foundation, SRIJAN’s programme will engage with 25,000 small and marginal farmers to improve their production, institutionalise their practices, and establish market linkages in six districts of Madhya Pradesh. As part of this two-year programme, SRIJAN will work with 12 FPOs across six districts of Chhindwada, Tikamgarh, Shivpuri, Anuppur, Dhar and Niwari, on enhancing productivity, aggregation of produce, and marketing of various commodities produced by them.

A grant of $1.1 million has been extended to ASA (Action for Social Advancement) and will focus on the development of seven FPOs for the enhancement of livelihoods in the districts of Anuppur, Chhattarpur, Mandla, Shahdol, and Umaria in Madhya Pradesh. The proposed interventions of the two-year project are expected to result in the enhancement of livelihoods for 25,000 small and marginal farming families through the development of sustainable agriculture production systems and the advancement of agriculture value chains.