Swayam Shikshan Prayog
Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) empowers 72,000 women in the drought-prone state of Maharashtra to act as decision-makers, improving their health and economic well-being. Engaging at the nexus of nutrition, sustainable agriculture, and gender, the initiative has created 5,500 self-help and saving groups that support women to engage as farmers, entrepreneurs, and leaders. SSP trains women to negotiate with their families to obtain their own plot of land for cultivation, usually about 0.4 hectares each. Low-input sustainable farming techniques -- including efficient water use, organic farming, mixed cropping, and increased crop cycles -- enable the women to improve food security, increase climate resilience, enhance agrobiodiversity, and reduce stress on water resources. Through these projects, women develop capacity to influence household decision-making, improve nutrition, and increase water availability in the region. The initiative provides a space for local women to co-create their own development solutions and to connect with like-minded women and organizations to spread their knowledge and expertise in a broader network, creating a mechanism for widespread sustainable change.
Equator Prize Winner: 2017
Location: Pune, Maharashtra, India
Area of Focus: Grasslands, drylands