Animal reproduction responds to nutritional status. During starvation, Drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans enter a period of reproductive diapause with increase apoptosis, while maintaining a stable pool of germline stem cells (GSCs). How GSCs are protected is not understood. Here, we show that a sisRNA/miRNA axis maintains ovarian GSCs during starvation in Drosophila. Starvation induces the expression of an ovary-enriched sisRNA sisR-2, which negatively regulates GSC maintenance via a fatty acid metabolism gene dFAR1. sisR-2 promotes the expression of bantam, which in turn inhibits the activity of sisR-2, forming a negative feedback loop. Therefore, bantam acts as a buffer to counteract sisR-2 activity to prevent GSC loss during starvation. We propose that the sisR-2/bantam axis confers robustness to GSCs in Drosophila.