New Delhi, Sep 05, 2014 06:27 PM IST
Sunhara Prayas, a project supported by Walmart Foundation, has benefited 4,541 women farmers and farm workers with training, self-help groups and market linkages since its launch in December 2012 in five districts of Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
With six months left of the two-year project, Sunhara Prayas has already reached 5,441 of its target of 6,000 farmers and is on track to facilitate the socio-economic and financial empowerment of 5,000 women, according to a company release.
The project is designed around a set of activities aimed at improved knowledge and capacity for vegetable and fruit production, access to selling opportunities and facilitation of institutional support for access to finance and social inclusion.
“Walmart has always made efforts to bring about differences in the lives of farmers, especially women in India. The Sunhara Prayas project is a testimony to that.” said Rajneesh Kumar, vice-president of Walmart India.
The project has helped beneficiary farmers increase their income by 32 per cent. Additionally, 1,639 small and marginal farmers have been linked to buyers, 3,051 beneficiaries have reported increased access to income and 3,661 beneficiaries reported increased access to financial services. The project has led to an increase in the production of five major vegetables and two fruit crops by 20 per cent.
Sunhara Prayas is designed to engage stakeholders at both ends of the value chain— farmers and buyers—to make the market system more efficient. Twelve farmer resource centers have been established to offer crucial services such as soil testing, information on good agricultural practices and supply of quality inputs and equipment for irrigation and pest control. The project has also introduced easy to adopt technologies such as tray nursery, low-cost poly tunnel, stacking or the trellis method, fruit fly trap, and harvesting and pruning equipment.
The Walmart Foundation has supported the project with $1 million and has partnered Agribusiness Systems International (ASI) for implementation.