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Women-Led Climate Resilient Farming

Campaign by Swayam Shikshan Prayog

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Story

In India, 79%[1] of rural women are engaged in agriculture as compared to only 63% of rural men, yet, women are seldom the decision makers around what to grow, what inputs to use, what to keep for the family, and what to sell and where.

This gender injustice in agriculture propels larger problems for the small and marginal farmers and the ecology - dependency on expensive and ecologically harmful chemicals, falling into high-interest debt traps, increasing vulnerability to climate change risks, reduced food, nutrition and livelihood security, health adversities, and migration.

[1] http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=170364

SSP’s solution, the Women-Led Climate Resilient Farming (WCRF) model seeks to integrate women’s empowerment as part of its strategy and design by building overall economic and social resilience towards the long-term sustainability of women and their households in rural agrarian communities. 

The project strategy aims to close this last-mile connectivity gap through a careful selection and inclusion of women’s groups and by putting power in the hands of women so they are in the driving seat instead of being mere bystanders. 

SSP will align with National flagship programs by connecting vital dots, the multi-sectoral approach becomes widely relevant as it closely aligns with the Agriculture Mission, focus on Zero Budget Natural Farming and national rural employment and the water conservation program dedicated to creating awareness and improving conservation. These programs are selected as they are unique as they emphasize community involvement, self-help, and convergence. 

SSP promotes a multi-level, multi-pronged approach to build capacities of small and marginal farming households for combatting drought. The approach focuses on creating a cadre of women such as Samvad Sahayaks or the Community Resource Persons (CRPs) on climate resilience farming strategies.

a. Empower and transform rural women as changemakers and local leaders in agriculture with a view to promoting resilient livelihoods and climate-positive food systems

b. Promote the use of bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides as the primary farm input, and encourage optimisation of water through micro-irrigation, rainwater harvesting structures, and local drought-tolerant crops

c. Pilot the use and success of biodigesters to produce natural organic matter for farming to attain circular economy, and promote low-cost clean cooking practices.

d. Engage with the policymakers (e.g., National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture) and other key governmental stakeholders (e.g., KVKs, ATMA, SRLMs etc.) to provide an enabling environment for innovative practice to thrive and scale.

e. Bring together key ecosystem partners – policymakers, donor institutions (set up a funder’s platform to discuss the way forward in this space), implementation agencies, government departments etc., and harness their collaborative effort and scale adoption meaningfully and effectively

f. Explore big aggregators to procure and market natural products at a premium to encourage small and marginal farmers to continue farming sustainably.

g. Raise awareness among the consumers on a large scale, to raise demand and develop local micro markets

Organisers
Swayam Shikshan Prayog

Swayam Shikshan Prayog

Beneficiary Charity

Jiji Sebastian

Jiji Sebastian

Organiser

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