March 2018


Market Readiness Makes All the Difference

Agribusiness Systems International Selected for a Grant from the Walmart Foundation to Implement Farmer Market Readiness Project in Andhra Pradesh, India

In November 2017, the Walmart Foundation announced a new grant of close to $2 million to support Agribusiness Systems International (ASI) to undertake a new effort to increase the incomes of 15,000 smallholder farmers in the Andhra Pradesh region of India.

The ASI led Andhra Pradesh Famer Market Readiness Project will seek to increase smallholder farmer income over the next two years by supporting smallholders with strategies to help improve the yields on their lands, the quality of their crops, their understanding of market demand for higher-value products, and their ability to connect with improved markets for their agricultural products. The project also is expected to include participatory development approaches that will include farmers and community stakeholders in education and training on topics such as diet diversification.

“We are excited to support ASI to build on their past work to implement sustainable agriculture development programs in India as these smallholder farmers grow their skills for their families and communities”, said Karrie Denniston, Senior Director, Walmart Foundation. “This project model is an exciting one with direct support via ASI’s own extension and business support team, as well as input from other stakeholders to help build the systems and supports needed to connect smallholders with the formal markets.”

The new project recognizes the emerging importance of farmer producer organizations in India—associations of smallholder farmers who come together to increase their economies of scale for both inputs like fertilizer and outputs like raw vegetables. ASI will work with the memberships of several farmer producer organizations to improve their ability to connect with diverse markets for their produce, for example by arranging meetings between farmers and diverse buyers prior to planting season to share insights into upcoming market demand, standards, and prices. It will allow farmers to manage planting and crop rotation to maximize profits. The project will also work to improve the private sector’s capacity to invest in farmer producer organizations and their farmer membership.

“The Walmart Foundation’s support of smallholder farmers in Andhra Pradesh will help unlock the potential of farmer livelihoods for generations by focusing on sustainable and transparent partnerships with public and private sector supply chain actors, said Amit Singh, ASI India Country Representative. “In Andhra Pradesh, private sector actors are eager to engage more closely with smallholder farmers. This represents a great opportunity for these farmers to reach bigger and better markets through private sector engagement.”

The project will focus on three major objectives to achieve this goal:

• Increase farmer productivity and market linkages through strong farmer producer organizations.

• Strengthen the agricultural ecosystem by building the capacity of strong farmer producer organizations and buyers to establish sourcing relationships that allow farmers to diversify markets for their produce and buyers to reliably source products.

• Improve sourcing infrastructure by leveraging the grant support together with complementary investment from the private sector, government subsidies, and credit from financial institutions.

The new grant to ASI is an example of the Walmart Foundation’s efforts in select country markets to help address some of the more systemic barriers that prevent farmers from increasing their productivity and market access.

The Andhra Pradesh Farmer Market Readiness Project was announced during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad. Now in its eighth year, the annual summit seeks to empower entrepreneurs to build partnerships, secure funding and explore new markets. The focus this year was on supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth globally.

» More about ASI’s experience with farmer market readiness in Andhra Pradesh.

» Read more about the Walmart Foundation’s international giving.

Photo credits: Agribusiness Systems International and ACDI/VOCA


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