How over 500 women in south India built sustainable livelihoods in face of drought

POWERGRID-ICRISAT project in Karnataka empowers through integrated watershed management

Farm-dependent households in Ukkali now have an added source of income, thanks to the village’s enterprising women who availed of the POWER GRID-ICRISAT watershed project.

Underway in the northern Karnataka village, the watershed project ‘Improving rural livelihoods through farmer-centric integrated watershed management’ has been empowering women through skills-based trainings since 2014. Over 500 women who have never been provided opportunities, are now self-sustainable through tailoring, computer skills and small enterprises.

Over the past many years, crop failures due to perennial drought in Vijayapura district, where the village is located, forced families to migrate for work. However, the POWERGRID-ICRISAT watershed project has helped farmers retain water in water harvesting farm ponds, masonry check dams, well recharge pits and percolation tanks. As these initiatives help agriculture in the village bounce back, empowering women is helping hasten household financial recovery.