As farmers, community professionals and entrepreneurs in agriculture; we have seen that women are quick to adopt solutions that transform water conservation efforts and judicious use water. However, despite nearly 100 million women farmers in the country, they continue to be neglected in programme investments and policy priorities. Women for Water is a platform to raise visibility and evidence that women play an irreplaceable role in India’s water and farm crisis. It aims to make collaborative and targeted investments for women in pivotal roles across the water-agriculture chain.
The platform partners with like-minded funders to make strategic capacity building and ecosystem investments across programmes. It aims to support women farmers, extension workers, paraprofessionals and microentrepreneurs to deliver transformational economic, environmental, and social outcomes. Women for Water had three core investment areas.
Build and capacitate large cadres of women para-professionals in water and agriculture to help farmers adopt responsible practices and communities to conserve water. Evangelise large scale adoption of digital tools and content to drive awareness and action on water conservation and water use.
Support an active role for women in community institutions on water resource planning, implementation and governance. Establish evidence to advocate for larger allocations for women-led initiatives in flagship government programmes.
Make targeted interventions for women farmers to overcome barriers of knowledge, resource and markets to achieve higher crop yields and better price realisation. Establish agriculture as a viable enterprise for women farmers; increase their contribution to rural GDP.