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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Critical Mass Production

CRITICAL MASS PRODUCTION (CMP)
Before going into CMP, let’s see the problems in regular cultivation model (As we all knew):

  • lack of labour force
  • decreasing underground water table
  • deficit in rainfall
  • unseasonal rainfall
  • low price for the produce cultivated
  • change in climate conditions
  • electricity woes
  • middle men fee
  • fertilizer issues

In India, between year 2000 and 2009, 80 lakhs families had quit Agriculture as their profession. Also farmers are turning to various other cultivations such as Timber trees, fruit bearing trees, medicinal plants, coconut trees, and bio fuel crops etc which need less maintenance and labour instead of food crops. Now the food crops production is getting declined. Food prices are going higher. Cost of Rice, Pulses, Milk, Sugar, Egg, Vegetables, etc are already shot up. This’ll happen to other items also in the near future.

If the cultivation of food crops still goes down, where will we go for food? We can import from other countries (that’s what our govt is doing now). If the other country also faces the same problem and they could not export to us, then? Hence thinking on the alternative lines will bring some light to this big issue. One such idea is CMP. Critical Mass Production (CMP), the term is coined to express that the situation is very critical.

We all know what mass production is. If we need to produce 1000 kgs of mushroom every day, you need to find out a place, make infrastructure, need employees & labours, capital, time & effort, etc. This is mass production since we intend to produce a large quantity of 3650 tonnes
mushroom every year. Now let’s see CMP. Instead of producing it under a single head, we spread it across 500 individual households where there is interest to earn extra money by doing some small work. Now an individual household should produce 2 kgs mushroom every day.

A SHG model can be developed and training can be given in production, procurement, marketing and sales. Here the benefits being less money, no infrastructure needed, less time, no labours and less effort. Initially, more time have to be spent in identifying the groups and making the routine happen. This also can extend to form a social entrepreneurship model.

Instead of mushroom, we can also produce other food items. It could be a timber tree to reduce deforestation, or a food crop like Drumstick, Lemon, Papaya, Amla to feed the growing population and to meet out the decreasing food cultivation, or a bio fuel tree like Punnai, Pungan to meet the energy needs or livestock development, backyard poultry etc.

The idea is to make every individual to utilize the space in their household for production so that we can shoulder some responsibility of the great farmers who really feed us every day.

As a pilot model, we had planted 2400 saplings in the front space and backyards of 600 households across 4 villages in Kanchipuram district. The survival ratio of saplings is 77% after one year. Our plan is to duplicate this model to all the villages in Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts.

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Environmental Education For Sustainable Development

This educational effort will encourage changes in behaviour that will create a more sustainable future in terms of environmental integrity, economic viability, and a society for present and future generations.

This broad title is classified into three areas:

  1. Environment
  2. Economy
  3. Human health and well-being

It all started with the Sun

The Sun is the main source of light and heat for our planet. The Infrared and UV radiations it emits energize the atmosphere, the earth and the oceans. By helping the growth of plants, which are then accumulated over millions of years, solar heat is the source of coal, oil and natural gas reserves. The Transmission of the sun’s energy to the atmosphere and oceans, coupled with gravity, is the cause of winds and currents. Human development therefore takes place in a context where solar energy is shared between all living beings who receive it, directly or indirectly.

Energy is essential for life

Plants use direct sunlight, CO2 from the air and water to produce carbohydrates through a process called Photosynthesis. Other organisms get the sun’s energy indirectly by eating plants or animals that have themselves eaten plants. The energy is distributed among living beings in complex food chains. It is everywhere on the planet. Every organism, whether animal, plant or bacteria cannot live, grow, multiply without it. Man is part of the process, since it’s his food that provides the energy needed to maintain his body at 37 degrees centigrade, make him work and move. With 2000 calories per day, a human being consumes almost as much a 100 watt lamp that stays lit day and night.

We highlight the basic powerful concepts:

  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Recycle

We implement this model in schools, colleges, corporate and communities. The activity comprises of,

  1. Q & A session on environment, food, water and energy.
  2. Interaction model instead of doing a presentation.
  3. Apply local examples to make them understand the global issues.
  4. Vegetable seeds distribution for their kitchen garden.
  5. Tree saplings plantation in their premises.
  6. Reveal future career options in Environmental development.


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