1000 Tree Project

Swayyam’s flagship project takes a holistic approach that provides livelihood security through cooperative farming. 

It integrates long term solutions such as water management, soil building and land planning using tree-based agroforestry and polyculture systems.

Increase Forest Cover • Reclaim Abandoned Farmlands • Raising Groundwater Tables • Rejuvenating Soil • Restoring Biodiversity • Ensure Livelihood Security

1000 Tree Project

How can we avoid another tragedy?

In 2016, a severe drought caused our neighbors to lose 80% of their cattle and most of their crops. We began the 1000 Tree Project to address the challenges faced by marginal farmers in Yelchatti and the surrounding villages. Through this project, we support farmers in their transition to Organic Tree Based Agriculture.

The first farmers to participate were a collective of 4 farmers holding 10 acres. They agreed to plant a minimum of 1000 trees, transition to organic farming and engage in water harvesting measures. Two more collectives joined in 2019 with combined land of 60 acres and plans to plant 

This project is not just about planting trees. It is about ecological regeneration that transforms landscapes and people, other life forms and the entire watershed.These farmers demonstrate the climate resilient design necessary to be sustainable in a time of harsh and erratic weather.

Our aim is to prevent these farmers from becoming landless. To revive traditional polyculture farming and reduce stress on the fragile forest ecosystem


Acres Covered


Trees Planted


Farmer Families with over 80 men, women and children

The 1000 Tree Project is a Holistic Framework that integrates practical, long term solutions including Water Management, Soil Building, and Land Planning using Tree-based Agroforestry and Polyculture Systems. We seek to establish food, fodder and livelihood security for the marginal farmers here through a cooperative model.

  • Protect their Crops and Prevent Overgrazing from Wildlife with support for fencing
  • Prevent farmers from becoming landless
  • Prioritising crops for food and fodder and sharing surplus
  • Earthworks - Harvest water & manage runoff
  • Irrigation, water and maintenance support for 3 years
  • Prepare planting plans (cropping calendar)
  • Tree saplings plantation - access to high quality saplings
  • Access to native seeds

Help us in this long journey

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Plant a Tree,
Adopt a Farmer

Supporting a marginal farmer is as easy as supporting the planting of the trees on their farm. 


Where is the 1000 Tree Project located?

The 1000 Tree Project works with farmers in Gundlupet Taluk, Karnataka, India. Our first projects are located near Yelchatti Village.

Why plant trees?

This is one sure way of reclaiming degraded landscapes and creating climate resilient perennial systems of food. With this project we hope to attract the farmers into planting trees and more importantly help them sustain them till maturity.

What are the common issues farmers in the area face?

Neighbor marginal farmers face uncertainties with erratic weather and high costs of inputs. Middlemen and uncertain Market prices add to their Financial Insecurity. Loss of shared resources such as labor and seeds along with increased land fragmentation and farmer debts 

How do Farmers become involved in the Project?

Farmers need to come together as a collective with a minimum of 4 farmers holding a conjoined 10+ acres. The collective is responsible for a portion of the cost of the fence and they share maintenance.

How do farmers make the transition to using trees for income and food?

This entails buying high quality saplings that are already big and can produce as quickly as possible. These will also be saplings that do well in the local climate with little water. Once established these trees will need very little care and will start producing quickly.

Do you help people set up their own farms?

For decades’ farmers have been marginalised, more so the small landholders who eke out a living by rain-fed agriculture and as daily wage workers.



Extreme drought led to the deaths of 80% of the cattle in our area. We initiated the 1000 Tree Project to help farmers use abandoned farmlands to grow fodder and fuelwood during these erratic times.


We began working with the first collective, Vasudha – 4 Farmer families holding 12 conjoined acres. 3600 trees have been planted so far on this land.


Our 2nd collective, Suvarna, is made up of 12 Farmer families holding 48 acres together. After the fencing is complete, we will begin with earthworks and tree plantation.