Due to rapid industrialization and in the absence of the necessary backward-forward linkages for inputs and marketing, the small and marginal farmers and agricultural workers in Mehsana district were slowly losing most of their land and assets. Excessive irrigation from bore wells drastically reduced the water table and rendered the remaining water high in fluoride content. The costs of irrigation increased manifold. Due to the unpredictable rains, many small farmers lost their livelihood, and had to take up casual labour. Women agriculture workers were even harder hit: they could find no alternative work and often had to walk miles to collect the necessary fodder and fuel.
SEWA organized the land less women agriculture workers into a co-operative- the Vanlaxmi Women Tree Grower's Cooperative. They demanded and eventually received government revenue land. However, it was not an easy process as the existing disjoint laws in both departments led to a tricky struggle. As per the Co-operative Act, the co-operative could only be registered if the members own land. However as per the Revenue department, the revenue land could be allotted only to a co-operative