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Wal-mart seeks big suppliers in India, where most farms are small

All photos by Vivek Prakash / Reuters

Labourers sort through and grade harvested tomatoes on a farm that supplies fresh produce to Wal-Mart in Narayangaon, about 112 miles west of Mumbai.

Labourers harvest tomatoes on a farm that supplies fresh produce to Wal-Mart in Narayangaon.

Two-wheelers move past the newly opened Bharti Wal-Mart Best Price Modern wholesale store in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad.

Workers walk inside an aisle of the newly opened Bharti Wal-Mart Best Price Modern wholesale store.

Reuters reports that India requires Wal-mart to source 30 percent of its goods from local, small industries, and therefore plans to sign up 35,000 farmers in the next three years:

Wal-Mart must buy in small batches from small plot-holders in a country where more than 80 percent of farms are under 2 hectares. That means contracting with thousands of farmers will still yield only a few thousand metric tons. In North America, retailers like Wal-Mart can buy from a few hundred farmers who provide hundreds of thousands of metric tons of produce between them.

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