Walmart Foundation Grantees Continue To Revive Cultivation of Climate-Resilient Millets

Six women in green traditional saris stand outside a secondary processing unit in Anantauramu District, Andhra Pradesh, India.

BENTONVILLE, Ark., and Delhi, India, Dec. 21, 2023 — Commemorating the International Year of Millets 2023, Walmart Foundation highlights four grantees’ efforts to enhance the sustainable production of millets. SRIJAN, PRADAN, ICRISAT and the Action for Social Advancement (ASA) have been at the forefront of initiatives aimed at the cultivation of the nutritious, climate-resilient ancient grain in India.

“At Walmart Foundation, we are deeply committed to fostering sustainable agriculture by supporting local communities. We appreciate the Government of India’s initiatives to highlight millets and we will continue to support grantees as they revive millet cultivation,” Julie Gehrki, Vice President & COO, of the Walmart Foundation said.

With Walmart Foundation funding support since 2021, each of the four grantees work closely with local farmers and FPOs to revive millet cultivation in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.


A Farmer Producer Company (FPC) promoted by SRIJAN has played a pivotal role in transforming the lives of 2,500 tribal farmers in the Anuppur district of Madhya Pradesh. By integrating millet cultivation, these communities have experienced a significant reduction in malnutrition. Subhadri Singh, who comes from a poor tribal family in Shivrichandas village, has earned Rs. 24,000 in just eight months by learning to operate a millet-machine called a Kodo and producing Kodo-packaged items like pulao, kheer, laddu and biscuits. 


In addition to actively promoting nutrition and advocating daily consumption of millets, the PRADAN team works with 4,810 farmers and five FPOs in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal. Mamata Rajendra Saiyam from Samnapur district of Madhya Pradesh used treated Kutki (little millet) seeds and organic fertilizers, that significantly minimized cultivation costs. She sold her produce to a women-only farmer producer company and earned over 40 percent net return, thereby encouraging other villagers to follow her footsteps.


A women led Secondary Processing Unit (SPU) owned and operated by an FPC supported by ICRISAT in Anantapuramu, Andhra Pradesh, focuses on adding value in addition to driving demand for the grain. The grantee helps drive widespread daily consumption by formulating recipes to make millets more palatable like in the form of cookies and other ready to consume, gluten free food items. 


ASA works with three FPOs in millets trading in Madhya Pradesh, where they have facilitated 5,200 quintals, or approximately 1.14 million pounds, of millet trading from January 2023 to June 2023 and plan to trade an additional 7,000 quintals until March 2024. Additionally, ASA works with millet farmers to help them prepare millet-based nutritious products. Shivbhan Singh, from Mohani Village, adopted advanced practices on his two-acre plot to cultivate an improved variety of millet known as JK 137 provided by ASA. By selling 16 quintals, Shivbhan has earned Rs. 41,600, leading to a net profit of Rs. 30,000.

While the International Year of Millets 2023 is drawing to a close, the Walmart Foundation continues to recognize the vital role the drought-tolerant grain plays in enhancing food security, improving nutrition and bolstering sustainable agriculture. The Walmart Foundation will continue to support grantees in their millet revival initiatives to foster a healthier and more sustainable future.

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 20 countries, employs more than 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 walmart.org.

About Action for Social Advancement-ASA

Action for Social Advancement (ASA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to securing the livelihoods of impoverished communities by offering developmental services focused on natural resource development for building resilience against the adverse impact of climate change, promotion of sustainable agriculture with a focus on good agriculture practices and organic farming, value chain development of agriculture, agro-forestry, horticulture products, and bio-inputs through farmer-producers organizations. Our objective is to cultivate a regenerative production landscape that encompasses people, nature and the economy. We strive to build an agricultural ecosystem that supports community-led natural resource development, enhances community capacity and institutions and facilitates an environment for stakeholder engagement, particularly with businesses committed to sustainable sourcing.


The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is a pioneering, international non-profit scientific research for development organization, specializing in improving dryland farming and agri-food systems. The Institute was established as an international organization in 1972, by a Memorandum of Agreement between the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research and the Government of India. ICRISAT works with global partners to develop innovative science-backed solutions to overcoming hunger, malnutrition, poverty and environmental degradation on behalf of the 2.1 billion people who reside in the drylands of Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.


PRADAN was created in 1983 by two young professionals, Deep Joshi and Vijay Mahajan, who were convinced that even the stubborn, endemic poverty of rural India can be solved. They believed that well-educated professionals working within communities can bring both the empathy and knowledge needed to help poor people improve their lives.

PRADAN believes that all people, no matter how poor, are capable of driving the change they need. PRADAN works in the poorest regions of India to help vulnerable communities organize collectives that help people, especially women, earn a decent living and support their families. We also help them access government programs and other entitlements as citizens.

The organisation primarily focuses on women and people from marginalized communities and facilitates them in developing their own skills and initiatives, instead of delivering services or solutions to them. They learn through experience how to build a livelihood and to access the information they need to engage effectively with government authorities and other people in power.


A civil society organisation, through its vision - SRIJAN aims to develop unique and innovative community-owned sustainable livelihood models. Acting as a bridge between external institutions and the rural poor, the organisation seeks to ensure the adoption of best practices. We help in facilitating the transfer of knowledge and technology - by promoting institutional financial linkages, community building and increasing the role of rural women in all spheres of work. In this manner, the organisation believes firmly in the power and capacity of community collectives to help sustain development efforts. SRIJAN works in the fields of agriculture development – horticulture, multi-layer farming, community kitchen gardens, crop diversification and Integrated Natural Resources Management – and helps in establishing women collectives like Farmers, Producers Organisations, federations, with the overarching aim of achieving sustainable, gender-just livelihoods ensuring income enhancement and sustainable living. Our work involves strengthening farm livelihoods by transferring knowledge and skills related to improved, sustainable and resilient agricultural practices. We complement this with technology interventions that supplement the creation of productive resources, contributing to the overall enhancement of community well-being.