Walmart Foundation grantees continue to work with farmers to bring millets to the forefront

Walmart Foundation grantees continue to work with farmers to bring millets to the forefront

Commemorating the International Year of Millets 2023, Walmart Foundation highlights its grantees ASA – Action for Social Advancement, ICRISAT, PRADAN and SRIJAN’s efforts, some of which have been at the forefront of initiatives aimed at promoting millet cultivation, a climate resilient grain in India. With Walmart Foundation funding support since 2021, the grantees work closely with local farmers and FPOs in the millet-producing states of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh, the Foundation said.

To promote millet farming as a sustainable agricultural practice, Walmart Foundation grantees continue to revive millet cultivation in the country.

“An FPC (Farmer Producer Company) promoted by SRIJAN has played a pivotal role in transforming the lives of 2,500 tribal farmers in the Anuppur district of Madhya Pradesh. By integrating millet cultivation, these communities have experienced a significant reduction in malnutrition. Subhadri Singh who comes from a poor tribal family in Shivrichandas village has earned Rs. 24,000 in eight months by learning to operate a Kodo (millet) machine and producing Kodo packaged items like pulao, kheer, laddu, and biscuits,” Walmart Foundation informed.

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“PRADAN actively promotes nutrition and advocates daily consumption of millet. The PRADAN team works with 4,810 farmers and five FPOs in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal. Mamata Rajendra Saiyam from Samnapur district (Madhya Pradesh) used treated Kutki (little millet) seeds and organic fertilisers, that significantly minimised cultivation costs. She sold her produce to a women producer company and earned over 40 per cent net return, thereby encouraging other villagers to follow her footsteps,” the Foundation further informed about its grantees.

A women-led Secondary Processing Unit (SPU) owned and operated by an FPC supported by ICRISAT in Anantapuramu, Andhra Pradesh focuses on adding value in addition to driving demand for the grain. The grantee helps drive widespread daily consumption by formulating recipes to make millets more palatable like in the form of cookies and other ready-to-consume, gluten-free food items.

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“ASA works with three FPOs in millet trading in Madhya Pradesh, where they have facilitated 5,200 quintals of millet trading in the last two quarters and plan to trade an additional 7,000 quintals during the year. Working with millet farmers, ASA is helping them prepare millet-based nutritious products. Shivbhan Singh, from Mohani village, adopted advanced practices on his two-acre plot to cultivate an improved variety of millet (JK 137) provided by ASA. By selling 16 quintals, Shivbhan has earned Rs. 41,600, leading to a net profit of Rs. 30,000,” the Foundation shared the figures.

Julie Gehrki, Vice President & COO, of the Walmart Foundation, said, “At Walmart Foundation, we are deeply committed to fostering sustainable agriculture by supporting local communities. We appreciate the Government of India’s initiatives to highlight millets and will continue supporting grantees as they revive millet cultivation.”

The International Year of Millets 2023 acknowledges the vital role of millets – a drought-tolerant grain that plays an important role in enhancing food security, improving nutrition, and bolstering sustainable agriculture. The Walmart Foundation will continue to support grantees in their millet revival initiatives to foster a healthier and more sustainable future.

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