Giving Compass' Take:

• Maya Kachroo-Levine, writing for GOOD Magazine, discusses how female farmers in Telangana started using eco-farming tactics to avoid pesticides and found significant success. 

• How can this initiative inspire other female farmers in countries around the world to try eco-farming?

• Read about the struggles for female farmers in the U.S.

In 2005, 82% of Indian farmers in the state of Telangana were in debt. This was mainly because their crop yield had been struggling for nearly 15 years.

Farming in Telangana is a female-dominated business, and the women farmers banded together to address the issue. They couldn’t keep buying expensive fertilizers that didn’t seem to be doing any good. They had been taught the best way to keep diseases from attacking their plants was to use commercial pesticides, but they knew they had to find an alternative.

They decided to try eco-farming, so they could avoid pesticides altogether — which meant saving money. This initiative spread, and now 2 million farmers in India are using the same eco-farming methods these women began implementing in 2004.

Their initiative has now garnered quite a bit of support, including $9.5 million in funding from the Indian government and World Bank. These women have not only changed their own lives but the lives of millions of other farmers. And they’ve helped make the crops and, subsequently, the people consuming those crops healthier.

Read more about female farmers in India by Maya Kachroo-Levine at GOOD Magazine.