Enabling women to build their own businesses and earn their own income

Our programs create valuable opportunities for women to become Community Agro-Veterinarian Entrepreneurs who provide paid services within their communities.


Livestock, Poultry, Swine, Vegetables
Active Since


More than 1.3 billion people live in India, making it the second most populated country in the world. A quarter of Indians live in poverty, with many dependent on agriculture for food and income.

Most farmers in India have small land holdings that are extremely vulnerable to change in climate conditions and depletion of resources.

Heifer International started work in India in 1955, delivering 20 Jersey cows through the Ministry of Agriculture. Today, we provide technical training to improve animal management and support farmers to develop alternative sources of livelihoods and build resilience by diversifying their sources of income.

755,000 families supported
by our work.

As so few women in India participate in the formal economy, providing business training through self-help groups is a major focus of our work.

Women often shoulder household and farm chores, but are excluded from decision making, education and sharing household income. The 6,659 self-help groups we work with give women access to savings and credit, enabling them to build their own businesses, earn their own income and change the power dynamics within their families.

Our programs create valuable opportunities for women to become Community Agro-Veterinarian Entrepreneurs who provide paid services within their communities to improve animal wellbeing.

We also work with cooperatives that connect a majority of women farmers within the livestock, poultry, swine and vegetable value chains. These networks help farmers diversify their revenue streams and move towards a living income.

Productive farms provide families with a wider variety of consistent, nutritious food. Through the Self-Help Groups, members share knowledge and learn how to improve community hygiene practices and sanitation facilities and introduce environmentally-friendly practices, including soil and water management.

Farmers in the state of Odisha are part of Hatching Hope – a program that will improve the livelihoods and nutrition of 100 million people around the world by 2030 through production and consumption of backyard poultry. Through engaging in the poultry value chain, women farmers in India are increasing their incomes and improving nutrition of households by selling eggs and chickens.

Living Income

Heifer works with farmers to secure a living income so they can lead dignified and prosperous lives. Learn more about what achieving a living income entails.


  • The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (India)
  • Bihar Sewa Samiti (BSS)
  • Cargill
  • DHAN Foundation
  • Mithila Gram Vikas Parisath (MGVP)
  • Narayani Seva Sansthan (NSS)
  • Network for Youth Development and Healthy Environment (NYDHEE)
  • Professional Assistance on Development Action (PRADAN)
  • Reliance Foundation
  • Sambandh  
  • Socio-Economic and Cultural Upliftment in Rural Environment (SECURE)
  • Social Organization on Various Aspects (SOOVA)
  • Unnayan
  • Vaagdhara
  • Voluntary Association for Rural Development (VARD)
  • World Vision India

More about our work in India

Hatching Hope