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WINS (Women’s Initiatives)

WINS is active in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. Here, they collaborate with over 1000 Dalit agricultural workers and cultivators across 35 villages. The aim is to pursue more economic and political independence. To achieve this, WINS focuses on the promotion of agroecological practices, women farmers’ rights, and the collectivisation of these poor and marginalised women farmers in producer organisations and political forums where they can voice their concerns.

In addition, WINS worked with the women of these villages to reintroduce the cultivation of millets, a food which had been virtually absent from cultivation practices in the area despite being a dietary staple. They estimate millet made up just 1% of cultivation in these villages. WINS encouraged the women to revive traditional farming practices through the cultivation of millets, which additionally represented an affordable source of nutrition as well as a good economic opportunity. Collectives were formed to discuss the challenges and benefits of millet cultivation. Many farmers were keen to get involved because millet is a relatively un-intensive crop, as it is rain-fed and is short duration (it grows quickly).

WINS was able to reach areas where representatives and experts from the state Agricultural Department had never visited. By collaborating with poor and marginalised women they were together able to mobilise effectively, as the women could come together to realise their potential both as producers and political actors.

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