The two-year Sunhara (“Prosperous”) Walmart project expanded the efforts of the Sunhara India project to facilitate women’s social and economic empowerment and fight rural poverty. Sunhara Walmart used a gender-sensitive, market-driven approach to strengthen the status of nearly 3,000 Indian women in horticulture and handicraft value chains. The Walmart Foundation-funded project worked with women in India’s Agra and Ghaziabad districts to introduce relevant new technologies, promote the value of farmer aggregation strategies through formation of farmer groups and district-level federations, and develop new marketing outlets.
Key to the success of this initiative was incorporating socioeconomic support structures so that women gained the confidence, skills, networks, and incentives to take advantage of available market opportunities. The project addressed underlying constraints that inhibit women from engaging with markets. It also worked to create market opportunities within key value chains that very poor populations with little or no access to support services can still take advantage of.
Impact and Accomplishments:
Women in the project significantly increased their incomes—some by up to 300 percent. The women farmers’ access to financial credit increased by more than 60 percent. Eleven marketing outlets were introduced. At project’s end, more than half of the women beneficiaries reported increased awareness of their rights and opportunities and increased influence and decision-making power within their households.
» See also information about the Sunhara Prayas program.
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