Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP), Maharashtra-based organisation has been awarded the Local Adaptation Champions Awards, organised by the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) at the ongoing COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. 

SSP is one of the four organisations recognised for their work in leading climate change adaptation for vulnerable local communities.

It won the award in the ‘Capacity and Knowledge’ category for the work in supporting women farmers to adopt more resilient and sustainable agricultural practices in Marathwada, Maharashtra, where a focus on water-intensive cash crops currently leaves farmers exposed to climate shocks such as poor and uncertain monsoon seasons.

SSP’s work

Over the past 10 years, SSP developed the Women-led Climate Resilient Farming (WCRF) model, helping small and marginal farmers to transition from cash to food crops, as well as from chemical to bio inputs, while also supporting in the conservation of soil and water, and the promotion of more diversified and resilient livelihoods through farm-allied businesses.

Sheela Patel, Founding Director of SPARC, and Professor Patrick V Verkooijen, CEO of GCA were both members of the prestigious jury and presented the award to Upmanyu Patil, Director Programs at SSP.

During the event, Sheela Patel dedicated the award to the late Prema Gopalan, Founder of SSP, and highlighted the work done by organisation over the past 25 years.

Jury Member Ban Ki-moon, Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation and 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, said, “Swayam Shikshan Prayog empowers women to become agricultural leaders rather than labourers. In the process, they are not only able to feed their families but also in time produce a marketable surplus to generate income.”