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ICRISAT, Walmart Foundation Launches Secondary Processing Unit in Andhra Pradesh to Support FPOs & Farmers

The newly launched SPU is expected to benefit more than 6,000 smallholder farmers in Anantapur district.

Abha Toppo
FPOs
Secondary Processing Unit in Andhra Pradesh

Strengthening its efforts to improve the livelihoods of farmer producers, the Walmart Foundation together with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT) on 10 August 2022 launched a Secondary Processing Unit (SPU) at Muddalapuram village in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.

Kakani Govardhan Reddy, Minister for Agriculture & Cooperation, Marketing, Food Processing, Government of Andhra Pradesh inaugurated the facility that will support farmers from the district with new livelihood and market access opportunities through value-added groundnut, millet, and other nutritious products.

ICRISAT has been working along with its project implementation partner, Accion Fraterna Ecology Centre (AFEC), to accelerate Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and smallholder member-farmers benefits, through interventions at various levels in the agricultural value chain. These efforts are in line with ICRISAT’s aim to turn dryland farming into a profitable enterprise through improved crop practices, post-harvest management, and new food processing opportunities for smallholder farmers.

The newly launched SPU is expected to benefit more than 6,000 smallholder farmers in Anantapur district. The facility is equipped with 5 processing lines that will produce highly nutritious millet and pulse based ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat formulations such as traditional khichdi and upma mixes, high oleic groundnut products - nutrition bars (chikki), cookies, snacks and savouries, and healthy cold pressed groundnut oil.

Walmart Foundation has a long-term commitment to support FPO’s capacity building and farmer livelihoods by enhancing yields which is achieved through improved farm practices, formal markets linkages, and overall support for FPOs in their sustainability journeys. The grant to ICRISAT aligns well with this mission and focus.

While launching the facility, Kakani Govardhan Reddy said,Our government has prioritized making agriculture more viable and profitable for farming communities and has introduced key initiatives such as the development of community-managed sustainable farming initiatives. This women-led food processing unit will boost sustainable farming and market access for local agricultural communities, provide employment to women and youth and create new opportunities for community-managed industry through the development of more food processing units. We congratulate Walmart Foundation, Flipkart, ICRISAT and AFEC on this initiative, and look forward to more such collaborations in the future.”

Nagalakshmi.S. IAS, Collector and District Magistrate Ananthapuramu, Government of Andhra Pradesh, said, “The entire infrastructure of the unit will ensure improved livelihoods and better opportunities for smallholder farmers. We congratulate Walmart Foundation, ICRISAT, AFEC and Flipkart on the launch of this SPU in the district that will bring synergy between agriculture and food processing industry."

Julie Gehrki, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Walmart Foundation, said, “We are constantly looking for ways to empower our communities. Walmart Foundation’s grant to ICRISAT aims to better support farmers’ incomes while strengthening and diversifying the services of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to deliver benefits to their members. It aligns well with our efforts in India to provide grant support to programs expected to benefit and improve livelihoods by enhancing opportunities for smallholder farmers in the country.”

Dr Jaqueline d’Arros Hughes, Director General, ICRISAT said, "ICRISAT fosters entrepreneurship by opening new avenues for dryland farmers, particularly women. In partnership with the Walmart Foundation, ICRISAT is helping small-holder farming communities in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh to adopt sustainable farming practices. This will help them move out of subsistence farming to produce surpluses that can be sold in markets, paving the way for prosperity in the drylands. This processing unit, approved by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), will provide employment, reduce food wastages and promote food & nutritional security, for the smallholder farmers. It will empower farmers from remote geographies to access fair commodity value chains and improve livelihoods”.

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