Last Updated:  28/04/2021

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Project Pitch By: BAIF Development Research Foundation


Proposed Project Title

Empowering rural women as Changemakers (Suprakashita)


Thematic Area

Gender equality, women empowerment , senior citizens and economically backward groups

Sub Thematic Area

Women Empowerment

Project Synopsis

Women play an important role within agriculture and the overall rural economy. Yet women experience multi-layered deprivation and a higher degree of marginalization. BAIF thus intends to address these challenges through a special women-centric initiative called “Suprakashita”. The project builds an enabling ecosystem for women farmers and first-generation rural entrepreneurs, helping them upgrade their skills and access capacity-building programs, government schemes, and technologies at the grassroots level. Recognition of women as farmers and entrepreneurs, increased household income, stronger fallback position, creation of safety nets, improved decision-making ability and increased participation of women are some of the key results achieved through the project. Women engaged in the initiative will experience economic, social and political transformation and the initiative will positively contribute towards achieving SDG 1,2,4,5,8, and 10. The project can be implemented within a cluster of 8-10 villages, across states experiencing increased feminization of agriculture and high outward male migration.

Overview of the Proposed Project

Estimated Budget
below INR 0.3 Cr
Proposed Location
Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra

Key Project Partners
Government,Academic Institute,Gram Panchayat

Project Status
Already Implemented-Replicable


Beneficiary Type (Primary): Women
Beneficiary Type (Secondary): Youth
Estimated No. of Beneficiaries: 500 -1000 Individuals
Status of Baseline Survey: Already Done

Proposed Project Description

The proposed project, implemented over a period of 36 months makes systematic efforts to address challenges faced by women and create an enabling ecosystem to facilitate economic growth and improve quality of life gains. Women leaders are the envisaged as drivers of change and the project develops a cadre of Champion Farmers, Community Resource Persons and Women Entrepreneurs, who will in turn train, engage and support peer, systematically benefiting the following standpoints:

  • Improved Livelihoods, skill development opportunities, access to skill development trainings, alternate income generation opportunities and individual and groups enterprises.
  • Adoption of improved farming practices focusing on crop and livestock resource and including farm mechanization with other women farmers at village level and build an enabling ecosystem for women farmers developing access to information, inputs, services and technologies at village level.
  • Improve quality of life gains and access to social security schemes, by facilitating participatory actions around WASH, Nutrition, dietary diversity, drudgery reduction measures and better health care practices.
  • Provide leadership opportunities by building life skills and by encouraging their active participation in Gram Sabhas and Village Development.


In order to achieve the envisaged aim, the proposed solution has been divided into following components:

  • Creating economic growth opportunities for Women Farmers through Improved Agriculture and improved livestock resource
  • Improve Health, WASH, Nutrition Conditions and Facilitate Drudgery Reduction of Women
  • Developing Local leaders and Promoting Women Entrepreneurship
  • Facilitating Convergence and Leveraging ongoing government programs for Rural Women


Each component includes series of systematically planned activities to catalyse the development process over the year and empower communities to continue the development effort even after the project concludes in a sustainable manner. Some of the critical aspects, covered in the project framework have been detailed further:

  • Single women farmers /women headed households to be focused in training and capacity building efforts. Through these pathways project teams will identify champion farmers, community resource persons and entrepreneurs that can be involved in the project.
  • In addition, structured efforts will be made to participation of women from poorest of poor households from marginalized communities.
  • While selecting technologies, attempt will be made to select set of technologies leading to reduced drudgery of women caused by climate change and agricultural adversities. In terms of coverage of project beneficiaries, conscious efforts to be made to see it that benefits of project are reached to rural women.
  • Local women between the age of 20-35, having at least studied till class 10th who are vocal and have a little bit of social orientation shall be identified and trained as Champion Farmers, Lead Enterprenuers and Community Resource Persons(CRPs). These women shall play a critical role in establishing convergence with local government and faciliate access to women centric schemens and policies, benifiting overall improvement in standard of living of women as well as gaining finacial benefits as farmers.


Direct impact of the project will be through increased agricultural production due to increased adoption of improved agricultural practices that drive four major changes:

  • Yields of all major crops register a higher increase
  • Crop diversification also registers an increase, with the double number of farmers growing progressive crops and practice improved agriculture.
  • Due to crop diversification, area under cultivation in rabi season is envisaged to increase three times. Few households shall also cultivate in summer season.
  • Use of organic fertilizers and pesticides increases considerable, reducing input cost.
  • Increased productivity of land and labor with introduction of systematic farm mechanization and optimal utilization of resources.


In addition, to enhancement in crop yields the project will make indispensable efforts to empower grassroots women and communities, emphasizing on strengthening women’s agency and community based ownership. Key aspects of capacity development component are elaborated as follows:

  • Capacity building of community members: Capacity-building inputs on technical and non-technical components will be provided to women farmers and champion farmers on continuous basis. By completion of the project, champion farmers can effectively share knowledge, practices with each other and continue promotion of developing Land Based Livelihoods. The village level meeting will contribute immensely to strengthen SHG groups, empower women members and promote farmers to make progressive changes in every day agriculture.
  • Ownership and accountability: Involving community members and especially women farmers at each level of implementation, community’s ownership and accountability will increase thus empowering women change makers to continue promotion of improved agriculture practices even after the project concludes.
  • Increased Income of women members: New income generation avenues through entrepreneurship will provide women and households with an additional income stream. This will enable women to support their purchase of land and assets, re-invest their additional incomes into other enterprises and invest in better education and health services.
  • Increased credit worthiness: Access to credit and financial services will increase through the intervention thus increasing their credit worthiness.
  • Expansion of customer base: Women entrepreneurs will be encouraged to go out of their shops and reach out to rural households at their doorsteps, within their villages as well as catchment villages. This will lead to an expansion of their customer base.
  • Enhanced business risk appetite: Women entrepreneurs will develop a more nuanced understanding of doing business, leading to an increase in business risk appetite. Apart from investing more on their existing business, they are also exploring newer businesses opportunities.
  • Increased involvement in decision making: Women will eventually gain acceptance as entrepreneurs and their participation at the community level gram panchayat meeting and gram sabhas will also increase. This will inturn lead to increased involvement in decision making at both community and household level.
  • Increased access to social security measures: Their acceptance as entrepreneurs will increase in the community through the various advocacy raised through the network will strengthen the social security net available at the grassroots level – benefiting women with insurance, pensions etc. and improve their fall-back position.
  • Increased community wellbeing: With increased awareness on WASH and nutrition, entrepreneurs and communities will engage in purchase of high impact, drudgery reduction products and undertake healthy practices impacting their health and wellbeing.

Salient Features

  1. The project strengthens local agency of women
  2. Develops soft skills of women and facilitates women leadership development
  3. Not only benefits women through economic gains, but empowers women enabling their economic, social and political transformation

About BAIF Development Research Foundation

BAIF Development Research Foundation has been actively engaged in catalyzing rural development since the past fifty years. BAIF today outreaches over 5.41 million families inhabiting in 100000 villages, 318 districts across 13 states in India.


BAIF is a non-political, professionally managed nonprofit organization, recognized by Government of India as Research Institution, governed by an eminent Board of Trustees. BAIF is presently associated with over 70 corporate partners, implementing over 100 CSR projects. In addition BAIF's programs are supported by various state and central government as well as national and international development agencies and philanthropic organizations.


Key thematic areas of BAIFs programmes include livestock based livelihood development, crop based livelihood enhancement and natural resource management. These programs have been supported with strong scientific research and innovative technological support.  Interdisciplinary themes such as women empowerment, community health, education and rural non-farm livelihood development have been an integral part of all development programs and significantly contributed to improving quality of life of grassroots communities. 


Recognizing its efforts in action research BAIF has been recognized by Ministry of Finance, Government of India under section 35 (1) (ii) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 for carrying out Scientific Research.


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