Heifer International and the Walmart Foundation join forces to strengthen farmers’ organizations in Mexico

Through improved production practices, Accelerate Income Through Diversification help farmers produce and verify high quality milk and meat, so they can access formal markets and ensure fairer prices for their products. By connecting smallholder farmers to more reliable sources of income, the program aims to close the living income gap – the difference between current income and the money needed to lead a life of dignity – by $ 660 per year.

“Working with families to achieve a living income is at the heart of Heifer Mexico’s programs aimed at building resilient and thriving farming communities,” said Gustavo Maldonado, Country Director at Heifer Mexico. “By improving the operations, training and resources that producer organizations provide to farmers, we are creating a platform for farmers and businesses to make more money, providing long-term stability.”

FPOs will be trained in farm level economic analysis to develop a business plan to help professionalize their role in the beef and dairy value chain. By 2023, Heifer Mexico will train 65 master trainers who will continue to support FPO members beyond the program end date.

Accelerate Income Through Diversification Prioritize training on gender equity, including dynamic gender inclusion for FPO board members and leadership training for all members. The program aims to position more women to participate in income-generating activities and take on leadership roles within FBOs, challenging social and cultural attitudes that limit their financial independence and access to markets. The program will also provide technical training on processing, quality control and how to work with other actors in the supply chain.

“This program strengthens the power of agricultural producer organizations in Mexico to help advance gender equity, ”said Julie gehrki, vice-president, philanthropy at the Walmart Foundation. “With a focus on increasing membership and female leadership in organizations, the program will address historic gender inequalities by improving understanding, fostering financial empowerment, building skills techniques and increasing market access for small-scale women farmers. “

Accelerate Income Through Diversification will include training and innovations in sustainable farming methods, increasing environmental sustainability and community resilience. Innovations in Mexico include a silvopastoral system, the introduction of different breeds of animal production and more efficient use of water to improve productivity and address shortages due to the continuing threat of drought.

Depending on geography, climate and local resources, Accelerate Income Through Diversification will introduce innovations on three model farms in areas of water scarcity. These will likely include land remodeling to prevent soil erosion and allow water capture to improve grazing areas, branch or log dams to contain water, new channels for conduction water, drinking troughs for livestock and wildlife, and rainwater harvesting.

The program will train producers in the culture Cuba 22 grass, a low maintenance, drought resistant grass that is 20% higher in protein and more economically and environmentally sustainable as a local food resource. The producers of another Heifer Mexico project called Rural entrepreneurs, supported by the Walmart Foundation, have already started delivering Cuba 22 weed poles at the OPS that are part of Accelerate Income Through Diversification

To facilitate continued progress and ensure food security amid the global pandemic, Heifer Mexico staff visit OPFs directly in their territories, practicing social distancing and prevention protocols. These safety practices will be replicated by the OPS, helping to prevent epidemics in their communities.

A second phase of the program in partnership with Cargill will be launched in India before the end of the year. The program will be based on Bring hope program, allowing POs and small farmers to diversify their income through poultry production.

ABOUT GENISSE MEXICO

Heifer International has worked in Mexico since 1977, supporting rural communities by providing training in inclusive, resilient and environmentally friendly value chain management. Heifer Mexico strives to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers by connecting them to long-term sustainable markets. It supports the development of social capital which enables women to achieve a living income. For information, visit www.heifer-mexico.org

ABOUT PHILANTHROPY AT WALMART

Walmart.org represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By focusing on business strengths, Walmart.org strives to solve key social and environmental issues and collaborates with others to drive lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 24 countries, employs more than 2.2 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 professional mobility for frontline workers, advance equity, fight hunger, create inclusive economic opportunities for people in supply chains, protect and restore nature, reduce waste and emissions, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit www.walmart.org or connect on Twitter @Walmartorg.

SOURCE Heifer International

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