Agriculture & Nutrition

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The rapidly changing climate has resulted in frequent incidences of droughts and floods in the recent years. 2016 is the third consecutive year of drought in many parts of India including the Marathwada region. This has adversely affected the agriculture sectors, throwing marginal farmer households in a poverty trap due to their limited coping capacities. This is turn, has led to high levels of malnutrition and farmer distress.
To add to this, women are often not recognised as farmers or decision makers in agriculture by their families and government agencies. They are often left out of crucial decisions such as the cultivation and purchase of nutritious food, where they have enough experience but not enough say.

SSP’s experience shows that women are most interested in making agriculture viable. They are keen on using basic agriculture equipment, adopting water efficient, low input farming methods and are ready to make a shift in the cultivation pattern – such as use of mixed farming, intercropping and increasing cycles of cultivation.

Therefore, SSP’s strategy for sustainable agriculture targets women farmers in landless, marginal and small farmer households and build their capacity as farmers and leaders, empowering them as the key decision makers in their families and community.

WHAT WE DO

  • SSP’s unique strategy focuses on the inter linkage between agriculture, food security and nutrition in its initiatives by following the concept of cultivation, consumption and absorption.
  • SSP equips community women to take charge of building sustainable livelihoods through adoption of improved farming methods and diversification of livelihoods.
  • To create a sustainable impact we train progressive agriculture leaders who play key role of community advocates and catalyze collaborations between women farmers and local government institutions.

COMPONENTS OF THE PROGRAM

AWARENESS

Increase knowledge of women farmers in sustainable agriculture – farming techniques and methods. This includes, low cost input farming methods – bio-composting, seed processing and use of water efficient techniques. At the same time, SSP teams and leaders increases their awareness around safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene practices which reduce the risk of illnesses and nutrient absorption.

ACCESS

Train women farmers to adopt nutrition sensitive farming and increase food security. Shift to bio farming model- cultivate nutrition dense crops in part of their household farms and move towards self-sufficiency. Women farmers are made more aware of locally available nutritious crops through the leaders and group meetings.

ACTION

Increase recognition for women’s contribution in agriculture together with increase in decision making with enhanced individual and household income. Also, develop capacities of progressive women farmers by providing leadership training to continue sustainable agriculture intervention.

LIAISONING & ADVOCACY

Women leaders actively participate in linking women farmers groups for technical support with Government Research Institutions such as Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVK), Farmer Field Schools, Agriculture University etc. They support in community advocacy and link the communities to access various government schemes and programs.

IMPACT

Over 180 community women trained as agriculture leaders since 2011 and have reached out to over 20,000 women farmers and families across 100 villages in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

OPPORTUNITY FOR PARTNERSHIPS

  • To train farmers in adoption of bio farming model to increase household food security and access to nutrition
  • To promote adoption of drought resilient, sustainable, and climate smart agricultural practices in SSP operational districts, especially in the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions, which are severely affected by the recent drought crisis
  • To promote efficient water resource management at the community level
  • To develop a cadre of community resource persons to facilitate promotion of sustainable farming practices for women farmers, exchange best practices and establish linkages with agriculture support institutions such as KVK, ATAMA and other relevant government departments

CURRENT PARTNERS

  • Misereor Germany
  • Ashoka- India
  • Government of Maharashtra, Maharashtra Rural Livelihood Mission
  • Great Eastern Shipping Company
  • Clearing Corporation of India
  • Krishi Vigyan Kendra and other agricultural research stations