To create more business opportunity and improve farmers livelihood, US retailer Walmart has committed to invest Rs 180 crore ($25 Mn) over next five years in the Uttar Pradesh.
The new investment will use to develop and scale farmer producer organisations to help raise rural incomes. It will be further utilised in creating sustainable farming practices and improve financial and markets.
Farmers can create new business opportunities for local entrepreneurs and help improve access to hi-quality produce in their villages. All this will result in making of the better supply chain, local businesses and livelihood, said Judith McKenna, president and chief executive officer of Walmart International after meeting local farmers and touring a vegetable farm in Kasimpur village.
Walmart delegates met UP CM on Wednesday and signed an agreement to have 15 stores in the next few years in the state. The retailer plans to set up its ‘Best Price’ stores at various locations in the state, including Kanpur Muradabad, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Sharanpur, Lucknow and Ghaziabad. Three sites are finalised and six are in pipeline.
At present, Walmart gets 95 per cent of the goods from local firms for its Cash and Carry stores in India.
The new investment commitment includes a recently announced grant of close to US$2 million to support International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics.
Last year, the Walmart Foundation invested $2 million in Tanager, Andhra Pradesh to provide farmers with the knowledge, resources and services to enhance their market-readiness and expand their reach.
For Walmart, India is a key market. The Arkansas-based company, which has 21 stores in India, plans to open 50 more stores in the next four-five years. It plans to open 8-10 stores in a year in the country.
The company claims to make 50 per cent of its business through physical stores and rest from business associates and e-commerce channels. It has revenue of around $500 million form its Indian business.
Earlier in May this year, Walmart bought 77 per cent of Flipkart share from existing shareholders, including Japan’s SoftBank, for $14 billion and investing $2 billion of fresh equity.