Walmart Foundation to invest around Rs 180 crore

Walmart Foundation to invest around Rs 180 crore

Walmart International CEO Judith McKenna visits agricultural farms at Kasimpur village near Lucknow on Thursday.

Walmart India and the Walmart Foundation on Thursday deepened their commitment to smallholder farmers in India by investing approximately Rs 180 crores ($25 million) over the next five years.

The Walmart Foundation, working beyond the Walmart India supply chain, will use the money to improve farmer livelihoods over the next five years.

Separately, Walmart India will grow its direct sourcing from farmers to 25% of produce sold in its Cash & Carry stores over the same period.

In a statement, Walmart International president and chief executive officer Judith McKenna said the company is pleased to help create more opportunities for smallholder farmers in India through Walmart’s strengthened commitment to local sourcing.

"There are incredible benefits for our communities and our customers when we help give farmers opportunities to learn and expand their access to markets. Farmers’ incomes can grow and they can create new business opportunities for local entrepreneurs and help improve access to high-quality produce in their villages and beyond," she said.

Walmart International president and CEO spoke to local farmers while touring in Kasimpur village on the outskirts of Lucknow.

Walmart India CEO Krish Iyer, Walmart India Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Rajneesh Kumar and Flipkart Group CEO Binny Bansal accompanied McKenna.

Walmart sources 95% of the goods sold in its Best Price Cash & Carry stores in India from local companies and offers access to technical assistance and training programs to improve farming efficiency.

Smallholder farmers are the backbone of the Indian economy, with more than 50% of the total workforce employed in the sector. The government has set an ambitious goal to double farmers’ income by 2022.

In 2017, the Walmart Foundation had invested $2 million in Tanager to implement the Farmer Market Readiness Project in Andhra Pradesh State, providing farmers with the knowledge, resources and services to enhance their market-readiness and expand their reach.

Further reinforcing Walmart’s commitment to India, in August the company completed its investment in Flipkart group.

The new investment is expected to support the growth of India’s economy as the company creates new jobs and business opportunities through strengthened supply chains, local seller development, and access to global markets.

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