Promoting women’s participation in small agroforestry nursery units – India

This project involves women and youth in establishing seedling enterprises. “Promoting women’s participation in small agroforestry nursery units” increases greenery in Tamilnadu towns, while providing women’s groups with a means to make money.

Fast facts:

  • 750 women involved

  • 50 villages in target area

  • 1 million seedlings expected to be planted

The problem

Many women in India’s Tamilnadu state are landless farmworkers. Although they possess a great deal of know-how in agricultural practices, they basically live hand-to-mouth. This is because the region offers few opportunities for locals to generate income. The people there have little knowledge about climate change, although its impacts can already be felt. The area is prone to drought, and has little vegetative cover.


The solution

The organization HEALDS will train women to establish small nurseries and assist with marketing the plants locally. Women and youth in the Namakkal district of India’s Tamilnadu state will raise seedlings to be sold to farmers for planting in and around their villages. Women in self-help groups suggested the project as a way to draw from their existing knowledge base. Thus, it is intended to help spread awareness of climate change and its impacts on farming.

Helping the planet

Increasing plant cover helps watersheds regain their ecological balance so they can continue to provide water and habitat. Promoting sustainable practices contributes to the improved management of natural resources. If trees are planted, they can store atmospheric carbon, thus preventing further climate change.


Helping people

Women would benefit from the opportunity to earn extra cash. Farmers get the advantage of more trees on their land, while the community as a whole has the chance to enjoy more secure and higher-quality sources of water.


Spillover effect

Plans are also being made to extend the project to include cultivating seedlings for vegetables. This is done in order to help the women feed their families. Spreading awareness of climate change impacts and disseminating coping strategies will bring the topic closer to the forefront of the villagers’ minds.


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