Water Conservation

WATER CONSERVATION

Water resource management is the key area we all should focus on now. Migration from rural area to urban area is surging up because of agriculture based livelihoods falling down. Water is the main reason for it. The Seasonal rainfall is failing every year and we have exploited ground water too, People are vacating villages as they don’t have water to drink or do farming.

SEA Movement’s approach to conserving water focuses on –

  • Mapping of water resources and their usage;
  • Motivating the communities to adopt water conservation practices, such as rainwater harvesting;
  • Encouraging farmers to grow crops which require less water;
  • Introducing efficient micro irrigation methods and mulching technique to farmers;
  • Creating Farm ponds with the help of Government schemes;
  • Pond renovation and connecting the cluster of Ponds.

 

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Safe Food Awareness Campaigns

SAFE FOOD AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS

When we talk about food in India, we expect it to be cheap and good. Because of surge in population, Government is in a position to provide food at subsidized rates.  

We are missing on the quality of food as we concentrate on price and quantity. From oil to sugar, coffee to milk, everything is in trouble. Lot of toxic residues in farm produce, synthetic colors, preservatives, genetically modified crops and adulterated food are falling in our plate nowadays.

Consumers need awareness on what they eat and feed their children. Such awareness campaigns will help consumers identify safe food and to also know about the advantages of consuming it in a longer run.

 

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Tree Plantation

TREE PLANTATION

Trees are our saviours! We nurture trees in schools, urban open spaces, rural connecting roads, temples and possible enclosed spaces.

If one activity we should continuously do for our life time, then it is Tree plantation.

We make students to participate in planting and nurturing Trees in their neighbourhood.

 

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Daily Revenue Crops

DAILY REVENUE CROPS

Agriculture looks interesting when we see it as an additional activity. One may be in a job or doing a profitable business or enjoying pension, then farming is attractive and viable for them. If Farming is the only livelihood, the scenario is different.

The farmer is in a position to manage the farm, cattle and his own family. He/She needs funds to manage the everyday situation. In such case, daily revenue is very crucial to the farmer.

Most of the farmers see milk production as a daily revenue choice. We suggest greens, vegetables and flowers cultivation as daily revenue choices to the farmers.

Also we encourage farmers to cultivate in small patches and see to that there is some considerable yield in the farm throughout the year. If the farmer has 2 acres land, we ask them to divide that into four portions say 50 cents each, and do cyclic cropping in all the four portions of land, thereby ensuring revenue during any part of the year.

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Bio Diesel

BIO DIESEL

Bio-diesel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a Bio-diesel blend or can be used in its pure form. Just like petroleum diesel, Bio-diesel Operates in compression engine; which essentially require very little or no engine modifications because Bio-diesel has properties similar to petroleum diesel fuels. It can be stored just like the petroleum diesel fuel and hence does not require separate infrastructure.

The use of Bio-diesel in conventional diesel engines results in substantial reduction of un-brunt hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particular matters. Bio-diesel is considered clean fuel since it has almost no sulphur, no aromatics and has about 10% built-in oxygen, which helps it to burn fully. Its higher cetane number improves the ignition quality even when blended in the petroleum diesel. 

We encourage farmers to grow Pungan (Pongamia Pinnata) and Punnai (Calophyllum inophyllum) trees in the unused space of their farms & backyards. We give them saplings for no cost, if they believe in growing Pungan and Punnai trees for Bio-diesel. We don’t promote Jatropa as it occupies the regular food crop cultivation space. Our recent Pungan plantation was done in villages Lakshmananpatty and Andipatty, Dindigul district.

Pongamia pinnata (Pungan)

Pongamia pinnata is one of the few nitrogen fixing trees (NFTS) to produce seeds containing 30-40% oil. It is often planted as an ornamental and shade tree but now-a-days it is considered as alternative source for Bio- Diesel. This species is commonly called Pongam, Karanja, or a derivation of these names.

Oil

A thick yellow-orange to brown oil is extracted from seeds. Yields of 40% of volume are possible using a mechanical expeller. However, village crushers average a yield of 30%. The oil has a bitter taste and a disagreeable aroma, thus it is not considered edible. In India, the oil is used as a fuel for cooking and lamps. The oil is also used as a lubricant, water-paint binder, pesticide, and in soap making and tanning industries. The oil is known to have value in folk medicine for the treatment of rheumatism, as well as human and animal skin diseases. The oil of Pongam is used as a substitute for diesel.

 

Calophyllum Inophyllum (Punnai)

It grows near the sea coast throughout India. It prevents soil erosion. This native of the Pacific and of tropical Africa grows slowly along sandy shores and in lowland forests. It is commonly called as Undi, Nagchampa, Tamanu, Pannay Tree and Sweet Scented Calophyllum

The Success story of Punnai  Bio-diesel

Mr.Rajasekar, a Farmer from Kandiyankadu village, Nagapattinam District uses Punnai oil for his diesel needs. He runs his 5hp oil motor using 100% Punnai oil for the last 4 years. No blending of regular diesel. His oil motor’s engine hasn’t created any problem because of Punnai oil. He has also experimented in 10hp and 20hp generators. It went on well like regular diesel.

He further says, the cost of making one litre diesel is Rs.10 only. If a Farmer has got 10 Punnai trees in his farm, then his farm’s energy needs are met. This should be highly encouraged in a country like India where energy demand keeps on raising. Electricity on needed time is a dream for most of the farmers in our country. When you start using such alternatives, like Punnai oil, the dependency on carbon oriented electricity may slowly get reduced.


Punnai Bio diesel and other benefits:

http://www.agroforestry.net/tti/Calophyllum-kamani.pdf

 

FAQs on Bio diesel:

http://www.biodiesel.org/resources/faqs/

 

IAMWARM Project

IAMWARM

IAMWARM expands to Irrigated Agriculture modernization and Water bodies restoration management. It’s a Multi disciplinary project funded by World Bank and implemented by the water resources organization (WRO), PWD and Govt. of Tamilnadu as Nodal Agency.

SEA Movement participated in TN-IAMWARM farmer trainings in Tiruvannamalai and Kanchipuram districts. Demonstration of Sustainable agriculture practices is the title of the Training.

 

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Organic Produce – Value Addition

ORGANIC PRODUCE – VALUE ADDITION

Value addition is inevitable to reach markets. In this express world, consumers look out for ready to cook, ready to eat, semi-cooked items in the market. Though the farmers organically produce safe and nutritive food, it has to be in a shape that consumers like it.

Say from millets, we can produce the below ready to cook items.

  1. Millet rava
  2. Millet dosa mix
  3. Millet porridge mix
  4. Millet pongal mix

And when there is surplus produce in the farm, we cannot sell everything as raw.  For example, if we have surplus coconut, we can sell it in many different forms.

  1. Tender coconut
  2. Cold pressed Coconut oil
  3. Virgin Coconut oil
  4. Dried coconut
  5. Powdered coconut shell
  6. Coconut sugar
  7. Dried grated coconut
  8. Coconut husk

We guide farmers to do value addition so that they get better price for their produce.

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Revival of Traditional Paddy Varieties

REVIVAL OF TRADITIONAL PADDY VARIETIES

India had 3 lakhs paddy varieties in India and now we have hardly 1800 varieties left. Such diversity we had. One for drought, one for flood, one for each soil type and season. We also had nurtured paddy with medicinal qualities.

The short term high yielding paddy varieties have lot of difficulties in growth. Unlike the traditional ones, they need more fertilisers, pesticides and fungicides.

It’s very important to revive our traditional paddy varieties to boost the sustainable agriculture practices in India.

 

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Market Support

MARKET SUPPORT

In India, we produce the staples rice and wheat more than demand.  If something is produced more than demand, how will it get a fair price in the market? Without having a fair price to a produce, how can one continuously produce it and take it as a livelihood. This is the scenario and our approach goes as below.

We were practicing multi-crops and proper crop rotation in our farms earlier. Nothing was produced keeping the market in mind. We produced for food our own usage, to feed the cattle and the rest went to the market. Now if we want to sell all the produce to the market, where does the market exists?

Local production and local consumption concept has gone. We stopped producing for own consumption and started producing crops which we can sell for cash. We never calculated the returns in agriculture like how we do now. The returns in the past were enough food for the family, togetherness because of joint families, healthy long life, living closer to nature, minimum revenue to look after the farm and family needs. The returns now we expect from farming is money! With money we think we can buy everything to run a better life.

With this background how we can build market options for farm produce is to be analyzed. At present we encourage farmers to move towards toxic free farming and it can be the reason for them to claim fair price. As health awareness is picking up in India, organic produce is receiving fair price in urban areas.

We also encourage farmers to develop a local market of their own friends, relatives and neighbours. Say there are 10 farmers in a farmers group. Each one of them should have ten contacts and the market is 10 farmers x 10 contacts = 100 customers.

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Farmer Training

FARMER TRAINING

Farming has become commercially unviable to many farmers in India, as our pattern of agriculture changed in the recent few decades. Earlier we used to live as joint families mostly in the farm or near by the farm and we had livestock attached to the farm. We had produced for our own consumption, for the cattle, for the farm labours and the rest went to the nearby local markets. Our own family members used to work in the farm, we had our own seeds saved from the previous crop, we had cows to plough the land, we had a sense of water resource management and we never had borewells, and we never depend on anything from outside to run the farm.

Things changed! Cows had gone for slaughter houses from 1900s. We did not have manures which we had produced earlier from cow dung and urine. We had to depend on tractors to plough the land. Farmers had to buy or rent tractors, machinery, manures and fertilizers. Because of the rise in expenses, farming became tough. Farmers requested their sons and daughters to get into other industries to survive. Then labours for the farm work from own family also extinguished. Farmers had started hiring labours for all the work. Farming becomes unsustainable and farmers got into debts. Now, what should be done to put back everything on its old routine? That’s the area we train farmers on! Our training are in,

  1. Organic and integrated farming
  2. Water resource management
  3. Value addition of farm produce
  4. Fair price and Market connection
  5. Farming and rural based livelihoods
  6. Advantages of creating Farmer groups
  7. Organic Group certification

 

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