India Placeholder

Women led Climate resilient farming model

About the Implementing organization

Name: Swayam Shikshan Prayog

Country: India

Year of establishment: 1998

Type of organization: Community-based association or organization


The solution is a climate resilient farming model which promotes long term sustainability for marginal farmer’s households directly through use of sustainable farming techniques, increasing livestock and allied businesses, increasing consumption and marketing of nutritious locally grown foods and water management techniques. The innovative aspect of this model is to centre stage women as farmers and decision makers. This project seeks to empower and recognize rural women as farmers and change makers to promote food secure agriculture model and further as leaders and mentors for innovation transfer and replication to scale up the impact and outreach of the project in new areas. The adaptive farming model developed by SSP is innovative due to the fact that it addresses a wide range of problems such as reduced crop failures due to multi-cropping, reduced cost of cultivation, increased income security by sale of surplus food and diversified livelihoods, improved health by growing a variety of nutrition sensitive crops, improved quality of crops due to organic inputs. It seeks to organize these farmers in producer groups for marketing and saleability of their farm produce at best price and quality.

Nature Element

Grasslands / Drylands

Type of Action

Sustainable use / Awareness and education

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Water security / Climate action

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)


Environmental Impacts

In order to make the initiative sustainable there is a great focus on managing water resources through recharging, construction of farm ponds, de-silting of canals and building farm bunds and trenches, use of water efficient irrigation techniques such as drip irrigation and use of sprinklers. Also the initiatives focusses on promoting organic and low input farming method such as use of own seeds, vermi compost, bio compost etc to restore the soil fertility, protected trees, water resources and the environment in the face of multiple years of drought.

Sustainable Development Impacts

Jobs and livelihoods: Women farmers were not only able to sell their surplus produce but they also started other diverse agri allied businesses such as livestock rearing, dairy, seeds processing etc, to raise their income Food security: Women farmers adopted mixed cropping to increase their yields and increase the nutritional security of the households, grow low cost hydroponics Water security- adoption of water efficient techniques such as drip irrigation, sprinklers instead of flood irrigation. They constructed water conservation structures such as farm ponds and recharge of old ones, deepening of wells, de- siltation of canals Disaster risk reduction- This aim of this initiative is to mitigate various the impact of drought loss of food, water and income sources Climate Action Women have become aware about the linkage between the climate change and its causes. They are taking steps such as planting trees on the farm bunds, on trenches, in their village in partnership with Panchayats


The activity has been scaled up in Maharashtra to 160 villages of 4 brought prone districts, reaching out to 20000 women farmers. SSP is now organising these women in farmer producer groups and collectives to introduce a market based approach and help women get the most competitive prices for their produces.
In addition, given the proven benefits of our model, through our network of successful women farmers SSP will reach out to new geographies in Marathwada region to advocate organic farming practices and encourage other farmers who are still using chemical inputs in farming to adopt this model.
In the long term this will impact the soil fertility and productivity of the entire region and not only few villages. As a result of the advocacy efforts with Government and agriculture extension agencies, women’s groups partnered with local/ district govt for joint information campaigns for improving access to food-civil supplies, employment-cash for work, water infrastructure programs


The initiative is an adaptive and sustainable farming model which can be replicated in any climate threatened geography. Its key focus is on enhancing food and income security through a women empowerment approach and it has proven successful even during the most difficult and longest period of drought in Maharashtra. SSP has created a cadre of 500 women farmer’s leaders who can successfully transfer learnings and strategies to other geographies. SSP has developed a mentoring model though which one mentor farmer can handhold other women farmers to practice and replicate this model.

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