Resource detail

Title: Climate Resilient Farming
Organization:Swayam Shikshan Prayog, Pune, Maharashtra

In the water scarce regions of Maharashtra, India, marginal farmers are the most affected by climate change. These farmers are in distress since farming has become unviable as they grow cash crops like soya, sugarcane and cotton – which require more water and more chemical inputs, causing long term harm to their land, groundwater and the environment. This problem is further intensified as the key stakeholder of farming is left aside – the women. Globally, 80% of poor farmers are women, however, have always been considered as mere labour on their own farms.

Initiative. Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) empowers grassroots women’s collectives to move from “Margin to Mainstream”. Over two decades, SSP has built robust partnership eco-systems that enables women’s entrepreneurship and leadership in sustainable development. Climate resilience farming model repositions women as farmers and bearers of the knowledge, enabling them to take informed decisions related to what to grow, what to consume and how much to sell. This model encourages women to gain cultivation rights from their families on a small piece of land which usually starts with half or one acre.

The UN Equator Prize 2017 has been awarded to SSP for its contribution towards climate resilient farming in drought areas of Maharashtra

Outcome/Benefits: Outcomes include enhanced income security as a result of sale of surplus produce and diversifying into livestock and agri allied enterprise. There is a shift from cash crops to food crops, now women and households have food from their own farms. Increased consumption of farm grown chemical free vegetables, pulses and food grains is observed. Women are repositioned as farmers, entrepreneurs and decision makers in their farms, families and communities. The protection of soil, water and land through bio farming, water harvesting and afforestation is another significant benefit.

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