Sagar Island Women’s CollectiveA Shoreline Project Production

Annapurna Swarajgari Goshti are a women’s collective from Sagar Island in India’s Sundarbans that have been cultivating a salt-tolerant rice variety as well as using an organic fertilizer that reduces the salinity of the soil.

These actions are vital for survival on the storm-prone Sundarban Islands. With sea levels rising, increasingly violent storms are flooding their fresh water fields, destroying the rice crops that islanders depend on and rendering the soil too saline for cultivation. Over 60% of the male workforce have now left the islands and flocked to mega-cities such as Kolkata in search of work.

The remaining women must learn to adapt to increasing saline soils or lose their lands to the rising seas. With support and training from Kolkata-based non-profit Nature Environment & Wildlife Society, this group of women have banded together and are exploring new, sustainable farming methods that will allow them to adapt to changing weather patterns on their island.

Elizabeth Miller from Concordia University and I travelled to Sagar Island to profile this inspiring initiative for The Shoreline Project.

 

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