Over the years, some of the biggest corporations in the world have pledged billions of dollars in causes that could improve the lives of a whole variety of people across the world. The world’s biggest retail chain Walmart has also done its fair bit with regards to a range of causes through the Walmart Foundation and in a new development, it has decided to pledge $4.8 million to organizations that work with farmers in India. The pledge of $4.8 million has been made to TechnoServe and to Digital Green, both of which work with Indian farmers at the grassroots level. They are also engaged in initiatives that might help in raising the income of the farmers in Asia’s second-biggest economy. Although India has industrialized rapidly, agriculture remains the country’s most important occupation, and even now, the economy is largely an agrarian one.
However, even in recent years, it has been noticed that farmers in a different part of India face a range of issues, starting from lack of credit to unavailability of water during summer months. Consequently, their income suffers and although the Indian government has introduced a range of schemes to benefit farmers, assistance from other avenues is always welcomed. The grant from Walmart is going to be used by the two organizations to help farmers with small holdings to get access to the markets, get hold of the latest technology, training on the latest farming techniques and skill enhancement among others.
The chief sustainability officer of the retail giant, Kathleen McLaughlin spoke about the initiative. McLaughlin, who also serves as the President of the Walmart Foundation, stated,
The grant 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.
The initiative had been launched by Walmart last year when it announced that over the next half a decade, it was going to contribute $25 million towards the betterment of the lives of Indian farmers. After adding up the latest pledge, the total contribution now stands at $10 million. This is also an important development for the two organizations that will receive the grant. A state lead of Digital Green said,
Today, many stakeholders work to support smallholder farmers who are the backbone of India’s agri-economy, each tackling only a part of the complex problem.