Heifer International, Cargill and Walmart Foundation Partner to Invest in Farmer Producer Organizations in India

By Heifer International

January 18, 2022

 

 

Hatching Hope: Accelerating Incomes Through Diversification builds on global backyard poultry initiative and previous program partnerships to challenge cultural norms and increase financial independence for women

VIJAYAWADA, ANDHRA PRADESHToday, Heifer International, Cargill and Walmart Foundation announced the expansion of Hatching Hope: Accelerating Incomes Through Diversification into India to improve financial independence for women in the Anantapur and East Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh.

With demand for eggs and poultry meat on the rise across India, backyard poultry farming is an economically sustainable agri-business that is easy to undertake and can provide high returns in a shorter timeframe. The project offers new income-generating activities and leadership positions within farmer producer organizations (FPOs) for women, challenging the social and cultural norms that limit their financial independence.

The global Accelerating Incomes through Diversification program, launched in Mexico in August 2021, will support eight FPOs in India and 13 in Mexico with technical expertise, training and increased access to resources to add new profit-making streams to members’ agri-businesses. The program is made possible through philanthropic investments from the Walmart Foundation and Cargill. The US$2 million grant for this project from Walmart Foundation is part of its commitment made in September 2018 to invest US$25 million (approximately Rs. 180 crores) over five years to improve farmer livelihoods in India through the development and implementation of farm aggregation models.

Julie Gehrki, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Walmart Foundation, said: “Walmart Foundation’s grant to Heifer International aims to better support farmers’ incomes while strengthening and diversifying the services and technical knowledge of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPO) in poultry. This work advances our commitment to build and scale strong FPOs in India and augment market access for smallholder farmers, while enhancing opportunities for women leaders in the small farm ecosystem in India. Ultimately, we want this work to enhance livelihoods for all.”

The project in India builds on the work of Hatching Hope, a global initiative that aims to improve the nutrition and livelihoods of 100 million people by 2030 through the production, consumption and promotion of poultry. Hatching Hope: Accelerating Incomes Through Diversification will partner with local organizations – Andhra Pradesh Mahila Abhivruddhi Society, Grameen Vikasa Kendra and Snehakunja – over a 32-month period through March 2023 to introduce backyard poultry to an additional 8,918 smallholder farm businesses, leveraging Hatching Hope’s existing infrastructure and program expertise.

Avni Malhorta, Country Director for Heifer India, said, “By working off a proven, successful framework, we are turning national consumer demand for poultry products into financial opportunities for women. As experts in building capacity with farmer producer organizations, Heifer International is responsible for ensuring these organizations help build sustainable farm businesses, while improving women’s status and financial independence in their communities.”

Hatching Hope: Accelerating Incomes Through Diversification will provide the strategic technical expertise, training and access to agricultural inputs and markets required for FPOs and their members to diversify their sources of income and improve their existing agri-businesses. Using Heifer’s proprietary Business Transformation Model, the project intends to strengthen FPOs’ business operations, increase their access to capital, grow and retain their membership, enabling them to scale and diversify their production.

Ravindra Vyawahare, Managing Director, Animal Nutrition Business – Cargill India, said: “Cargill and Heifer International first launched the Hatching Hope Global Initiative in India in 2018 to improve nutrition and economic livelihoods through production, promotion and consumption of poultry. The learnings and success of the infrastructure that we built together in Odisha are a strong foundation to scale-up this project in Andhra Pradesh. The next step for sustainably building up this initiative is to collaborate with public and private partners. We are thrilled to partner with Walmart Foundation in this next phase in a new state. Through this partnership, we will bring shared capabilities and resources to implementing Hatching Hope: Accelerating Incomes Through Diversification on-ground.”

Through detailed business opportunity assessments of each FPO, the project will work toward reducing exposure to external shocks from weather events and public health crises, including recent typhoons and the COVID-19 global pandemic. These events are especially devastating to farmers and organizations that are reliant on only one value chain. In response to the impacts of COVID-19, the project released US$24,500, and curtailed the massive wage loss, business setbacks and lag in agricultural productivity faced by farmers. Income diversification through the addition of poultry will further increase farmers’ resilience to future shocks.

Recent opportunity assessments of the FPOs reflect a series of needs the project will continue to address, including availability of high-quality seeds, fertilizers and other inputs; strengthening of horticultural plots; procurement of dairy cattle and other homestead animals; and economic sustainability of existing local businesses, including general stores, grocery stores, small hotels, tea shops and fruit and vegetable vendors.

Across Mexico and India, Hatching Hope: Accelerating Incomes Through Diversification will prioritize trainings and innovative climate-smart practices that support healthy local ecosystems and agriculture’s role in the fight against climate change. In India, it will focus on selecting only improved native breeds of poultry, implementing pesticide-free kitchen gardens, promoting locally available poultry feed and incorporating bio-waste management.

ABOUT HEIFER INTERNATIONAL

Since 1944, Heifer International has worked with more than 39 million people around the world to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. Working with rural communities in 21 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, including the United States, Heifer International supports farmers and local food producers to strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that provide a living income.

Heifer International started work in India in 1955, delivering cattle to communities through the Ministry of Agriculture. To date, Heifer India has supported 755,000 families, providing technical training to improve animal management and build resilience by diversifying incomes with crops and livestock. Working alongside local and national organizations, the government and other entities, Heifer India is implementing projects that increase economic security and resilience.

For more information, visit Heifer.org or email media@heifer.org.

ABOUT CARGILL

Cargill’s 155,000 employees across 70 countries work relentlessly to achieve our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive. We combine 155 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, we are building a stronger, sustainable future for agriculture.

For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center. Contact: Emily Webster, media@cargill.com.

ABOUT PHILANTHROPY AT WALMART

Walmart.org represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By focusing where the business has unique strengths, Walmart.org works to tackle key social and environmental issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 24 countries, employs more than 2.2 million associates and does business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Walmart.org is helping people live better by supporting programs to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, advance equity, address hunger, build inclusive economic opportunity for people in supply chains, protect and restore nature, reduce waste and emissions, and build strong communities where Walmart operates.

To learn more, visit www.walmart.org or connect on Twitter @Walmartorg.