Can climate-resilient farming become a profitable venture?  

Uma Karad is a marginal farmer in the drought-prone Osmanabad district of Maharashtra with a land of just one acre. But with a one-acre climate-resistant farming model, she not only earns $50,000 a month but also produces organic food for her family. Like Uma, hundreds of women in Maharashtra have adopted this model winning the Local Adaptation Champions Awards, organized by the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) at COP27.

With one acre of land, we could not tolerate drought and other problems. The loan was the only source to continue farming. Somehow we got production worth 20-30 thousand Russian rubles, of which about 16 thousand pounds sterling went to fertilizers. I used to work as a day laborer for 50 rupees a day because farming was not a profitable venture,” Uma recalled, telling her story of resilience.

She learned about climate-resilient agriculture from other women farmers and from Swayam Chikshan Prayug (SSP), an NGO that works with women farmers. The slogan of climate resilient farming was simple but hard to digest for traditional farming families.

Use of bio-fertilizers and pesticides, conservation and exchange of native seeds, diversification from single to multiple food crops, increase number of crop rotations, selection of water-efficient and short-lived crops, pressure on water conservation using micro-system irrigation and diversification in agriculture Allied companies are key in This form.

Women farmers from Marathwada district

Uma started experimenting in about 5 lands and also bought a cow. When she started farming, she ensured her family’s food security as well as her organic product was in demand. You sow corn in 10 quintals and harvest 15 quintals. Slowly I have increased the number of cows and today I have 10 cows and my dairy company brings me INR 50,000 per month. “Everything that I use in my fields to farm and feed my cows is produced on my farm,” Uma said.

Women take the lead

“While the men make all the decisions about planting, no one listens to me at first. But I insisted that I wanted to plant ten hedgehogs. Using this technology (a climate-resistant model) I started growing vegetables and made $30,000 in one go. Now, we use The technology is in one acre and we grow 32 different crops.”We also use some crops to make products,” said Sanjivani Mahajan from Osmanabad.

Deepali Suryawanshi of Latur added that this farming technique has helped her support her family and through complementary activities such as poultry and dairy products, has made her two-acre farming sustainable.

SSP won Local Adaptation Champions awards, at COP 27 to support women farmers to adopt more resilient and sustainable farming practices.

“The award is the result of recognizing the efforts of women farmers to innovate and implement climate-resilient agriculture. The women have changed the story of farming in drought-prone areas of the state,” said Upmanyu Patil, Program Director at SSP.