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DWD(Diverse Women for Diversity)

Our Mission

Bring awareness to the environmental crisis facing India, and its economic and social  impact on rural and farming communities

Promote and support solutions to rural hunger and poverty in India via sustainable organic farming and biodiversity conservation and to protect and preserve indigenous knowledge.

The DWD is a network of women across the world initiated by Navdanya, committed to the defense of biological and cultural diversity. In India the DWD strengthens women’s food sovereignty.

Through this initiative, Navdanya supports self help of diverse women’s groups by providing all inputs and training for the production and processing of nutritious artisan food, drinks and snacks such as papads, pickles, squash and herbal drinks.

DWD centres are created by a one time investment in  the purchase of ingredients, utensils and packaging machinery to increase production and marketing of these healthy foods. A trained and trusted coordinator works with each group to strengthen sustainable livelihoods of women and provide culturally and nutritionally rich food alternatives for all.

They are also connected to a network for  retail sale of their products. This program specifically targets widows of indebted farmers, who have committed suicide in epidemic proportions in India since 1997.

In addition a Community Glossary Link Biodiversity Register is maintained to preserve oral traditions for indigenous foods and their preparation and use


Diverse Women for Diversity (Mahila Anna Swaraj)


Programmatic Goal


Program Status

Current Program Needs

1. Strengthen rural and indigenous women’s food sovereignty and conservation of biodiversity

1.1 Train women in Glossary Link organic farming


1.2 Train women in artisanal food production


1.3 Empower widows of farmer suicides

1.1.1 Identify women who are willing to learn organic farming


1.1.2 Train women in organic farming


1.1.3 Establish DWD centers to support trained women farmers


1.1.4 Ongoing research on yield, pests, and food security




1.2.1 Identify women who want to process their foods and learn artisanal food production


1.2.2 Train women in production and processing of artisanal food, e.g., papads, pickles, herbal drinks


1.2.3 Market products in Navdanya’s points of sale in Delhi, Mumbai, Dehradun


1.2.4 Organize annual Mahila Anna Swaraj gathering


1.2.5 Maintain Community Biodiversity Register




1.3 Outreach and establishment of DWD centers and network in communities that have been hit by an epidemic of farmer suicides


17 DWD centers established throughout India





Cost of establishing one DWD center (approx. $3500 per center)


Training costs – personnel, coordinating staff, materials outreach, travel and communication


Organic certification and registration costs


Maintenance of Community Biodiversity Register


Research and scientific support team








Our Programs