Description of the project: The project Seeds of Hope aims to improve resilience to climate change, food sovereignty, and the economic autonomy of women and farming communities in Northern India. It builds on preserving the biodiversity of the area and trains in priority women on agro-ecological techniques, seeds conservation and reproduction as well as food processing. Direct beneficiaries are 686 farmers, of which 95% are women. The French association SOL cooperates with Navdanya, an Indian association founded by Vandana Shiva.
Climate Impact: The project strengthens the climatic resilience of the region: agro-ecology strengthens the fertility and moisture of soils (organic matter content increases by 25% according to qualitative analysis), the conservation and reproduction of seeds allows for the rehabilitation of biodiversity, a climate mitigating factor. Yields have been improved by 20% and dependence on the purchase of seeds lowered by 50%; the quality and quantity of the food supply improved significantly. Uttarakhand aims to become a 100% organic State by 2020.
Gender Impact: In rural India, women play an essential role in subsistence farming and family nutrition. The training courses in which they participate strenghten their autonomy and their local democratic and political stature. The project fosters the generation of independent income for women, which improves their families’ living conditions and women’s human rights.
Scalability /replicability: The sustainability of the project is ensured by a 10-year partnership between French and Indian associations. Their goal is to extend the project to 15 new villages during the 2015- 2018 period, in order to use this model for similar climatic and agricultural areas, and to influence the Indian Government in the long-term for the promotion of organic agriculture.