Not only did this training support participants to build their skills in sustainable farming and seed saving practices, but it provided women the opportunity to break through mental, social and cultural barriers that define women’s lives in this region, and gain confidence in their leadership.
Our Training, supporting women from Chitradugra and Kanakapura, included an assessment phase to best understand the gaps in support for women in these regions. In between convenings, GREEN Foundation team members visited the training participants in their homes, talking to family members to foster support of the program, initiating discussions in local institutions such as Self Help Groups (SHGs), and holding special meetings with Mahila Sathis (a network of trained community women members initiated by GREEN to promote sustainability).
The success of the training session helped many of the women see past social barriers and mindsets, awakening the possibility of change within themselves and their communities. Through this partnership, women farmers learned skills that would aid them in launching a livelihood practice that could initiate a chain of micro-enterprises within their own communities.
The 40+ women farmers who participated in this leadership and capacity building training received ongoing training and mentoring to learn additional skills. For example, a group of participants launched a women-run community radio show that shared critical and timely information on climate change and sustainable agriculture with other farmers in this climate-impacted region. This project:
- Improved agricultural production and promoted sustainable agriculture and seed saving practices;
- Ensured women farmers receive timely information on climate change;
- Shared information on market linkages for women farmers who often do not have access to business opportunities;
- Helped democratize knowledge, enabling farmers to share holistic practices in the face of aggressive promotion of industrial agriculture paradigm in India.