Circular economy with blackwater and greywater recycling for cultivation of exotic vegetables by women Farmers Groups in India under Securing Water for Food (SWFF)
The economic condition in Nilgiris (India) depends on success and failure of horticulture crops. Climate change has resulted in limited water availability for four to six months a year. Excessive application of chemical fertilisers has resulted in declining soil fertility. Additionally, faecal sludge and solid waste in the area are poorly managed impacting the environment.
To change this negative cycle, women farmers in the Nilgiris buy and apply co-compost. This co-compost is produced by women self-help groups through mixing domestic organic waste with faecal sludge. The co-compost sites are owned by local governments. The women farmers, who are organised into Women Farmers Groups or Producer Groups, access the market directly by obtaining advance purchase orders by an agri-marketing company (LEAF) to procure crops grown by the farmers. This helps them to avoid working with middlemen.
Goals of the programme
The Securing Water for Food programme promotes science and technology solutions that enable the production of more food with less water, and to make more water available for production, processing and distribution of food. The goal of this specific project is to establish a local circular economy model in sanitation for agriculture that is scalable and autonomous via the mobilisation of private finance and a market-linkage approach to advance green growth.
To realise inclusive green growth, we implemented the following activities:
The programme aims to maximise sustainability through collaboration between public and private actors, including local governments, Women Farmers Groups or Producer Groups, agri-marketing company, Micro Finance Institutions and faecal sludge operators. This approach is essential to realise successful market-based Faecal Sludge Management and to make the business case of co-compost site viable.
The impact we made
Funded by USAID, SIDA, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government of South Africa