Financially empowering women farmers

Photo credit: Food Tank

With the support of an ICRISAT Integrated Watershed Management Project, farmer Janki Bai was able to construct a rainwater harvesting pond to bring water to her community living in the semi-arid state, Madhya Pradesh.

Making Strides in India: Helping Women Farmers Generate Income

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, women are responsible for 43 percent of the agricultural labor force in developing countries. Yet women rarely reap benefits from their contributions. The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), a nonprofit organization promoting sustainable agricultural practices in India and Africa, is working to change that. ICRISAT has made notable strides for women in India, working against gender inequality in the rural sector. The organization has supported 23 watershed projects in nine Indian states, expanding accessibility to services that “financially empower women farmers.”

In India, 70 percent of the population is dependent on agriculture, while 51 percent of agricultural land exists in areas with low rainfall and poor soil composition. ICRISAT’s Integrated Watershed Management Projects work to bring water to these arid lands—structuring its initiatives to promote economic growth for female farmers to transform them into businesswomen. Through partnerships with public and private sector institutions, the ICRISAT watershed projects provide poor female farmers with low-interest loans, financial guidance, and training in nutrition, health, and crop management.

Read the full article: Food Tank

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.