As a global recognition of the Foundation’s work in water and food security initiatives, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, was placed second at the global Humanitarian Water and Food Award (WAF) for its Community Managed Bio industrial Watersheds initiative. WAF promotes global best practices in water and food security initiatives. Founded in 2008 and based in Copenhagen, Denmark, WAF’s activities span the globe. WAF evaluates solutions that have met the criteria of sustainability, innovation, empowerment, scalability, replicability, social and environmental impact for at least two years.
The MSSRF initiative took up the challenge of intervention in five regions of India that suffered food shortages because of soil erosion and degradation. Lowered production, crop diversity and employment had led to migration. MSSRF mobilized 5,000 locals – water users, paddy and pulse farmers, and women’s self-help networks. The groups shared knowledge and skills to develop a holistic farming system. This intervention resulted in mobilization that empowered community groups to increase holistic agricultural production, improve water harvesting structures, and stimulate local enterprise. MSSRF was declared runners-up in list of over 70 applicants worldwide. Of these, 11 were shortlisted and 5 were finalists.This intervention has already received two National awards – National Water Prize and Groundwater Augumentation award in 2012. The WAF award has added the international dimension of recognition for this piece of work at MSSRF. Dr. R. S. S. Hopper, Director (Ecotechnology), MSSRF received the award from HRH Princess Basma bint Ali of Jordan at London on 18th June 2014