Supporting women cotton farmers 

Farming families in south-west Odisha, India, have long been growing cotton as a means of earning income. Unfortunately, the use of unsustainable and inefficient agricultural methods mean that cotton production often comes at the expense of growing enough food to eat. For women in particular, who undertake 70% of work on the farm alongside domestic activities, physical and mental exhaustion is a daily reality.


Cotton farmer Bharati picking cotton on her farm.

Credit: Traidcraft Exchange/Roderick Stuart


Our project supplied women farmers with simple equipment to significantly lighten their workload and increase productivity. As a result of gender sensitisation training, women did not only report having more say over how their household income is spent, but also, in some cases, having the confidence to challenge men in their communities over drinking and domestic violence.

Project name: Sustainable Farms, Sustainable Futures

Where did we work? Eastern India; Kalahandi and Rayagada districts of Odisha

How long for? 3 years (April 2015 - March 2019)

Who benefited? 4,000 small, marginal and landless cotton farming families

Project aims:

  • To increase food security and reduce vulnerability of 4,000 small, marginal and landless cotton farming families

  • To increase women’s status through collectivisation and income-generating activities

  • To enable women to approach the relevant agencies to demand their rights

Who did we work with? The project was funded by Big Lottery Fund.


For more information about this project, please contact

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