Deccan Development Society
Deccan Development Society works in the Zaheerabad region of India with Dalit (‘untouchables’) and tribal women to develop climate-smart agricultural practices that secure community nutrition, health, and livelihoods. Over the past 25 years, the organization has supported over 2,700 women to reclaim their farmlands and, in its first ten years alone, generated over one million days of employment for women across 30 villages. To combat environmental challenges of poor soil quality and limited water, Deccan Development Society has supported women to form voluntary groups to establish sovereignty over seeds, food, farming, health, market, and media. Through these groups, the organization has created its own seed bank, millet processing unit, outlets for farm product sales, and restaurants, providing a powerful network of support for its women entrepreneurs. Today, over 5,000 women have adopted millet-based agrobiodiverse farming approaches and market strategies that fight against chronic malnutrition, food insecurity, and poverty in the region.
Equator Prize Winner: 2019
Location: Telangana, India
Ecosystem: Grasslands and Drylands