Project 6265“Bio-diverse Agri Trainings to 1500 Youth every Year”Tiruchirappalli District, State of Tamil Nadu, India.Supported byGlobal GivingThrough donations from Friends of Earth in India,USA and WorldoverImplemented byVOICE Trust Progress Report from 16th October to 15th Novemeber, 2010Introduction:Global Giving was introduced to VOICE Trust during DM 2009 at World Bank Head Quarters in Washington DC., USA during November 2009. After fulfilling the requirements of Global Giving, VOICE Trust was selected for September 2010 open challenge. 69 donors contributed $4135 and enabled the launch of Project #6265 from October, 2010.Activities during 16th October to 15th November 20101) Banner for Project designed and displayed at trainings: 2) Write-up about need to save Agriculture, not only for economic gain but also for poison-free food and eco-friendly living, was prepared in Tamil (the local language) and circulated among youth for subject clarity and enlightenments about Bio-diverse Agriculture.3) Training schedule of First Month: a) From October 16, 2010 : C. R. Palayam, Village – 60 Youth b) From October 23, 2010 : Panayapuram, Village – 54 Youth c) From October 30, 2010 : Uttamarseeli, Village – 50 Youth d) From November 11, 2010 : Siruganur, Village – 36 Youth* More Girls participate. Still, Boys express interest in agriculture.* November 4 to 10 made free for Diwali. (Festival of Lights)* Staff not professional photographers. Better coverage from second month.4) Training Content:a) Orientation: VOICE Trust Team informs the sequence of events, especially from 1995 with IPM (Integrated Pest Management), ICM (Integrated Crop Management), IFS (Integrated Farming Systems), Organic Farming (Vermicompost/Bio Pest Repellants), FFS (Farmer Field School) and VAP (Value Added Products)- Emphasis for saving agriculture was made because of the following: Culturally accepted food for good nutrition. Healthy environment is well being in life. Natural Resource Management for “Our Earth – Our Future”. Regular employments for remunerative income generation. Other empowerment options for better in life for all.- Farming is pivotal to people of India, because “Agriculture is Indian culture”. That is why, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India declared in 1947 after Indian Independence.. “Everything else can wait, but not agriculture”. For, Agriculture provides food for all, enables healthy environment for all and ensures sustainable livelihood for around ¾ of the population.- Such as important agriculture is now facing serious challenges. Because of hybridization, chemicalisation and industrialization of modern agriculture, increasing cost of production, decreasing economic returns, lack of labor force and climate change due to global warming has reached agriculture at cross roads. Lot of farmers are declining to continue agriculture. Agri lands are for sale to real estate groups, to industrial houses and to educational institutions.- But, agriculture has to continue at any cost. Because, it is the lifeline of all the people. Relevant and realistic activities have to be facilitated to save agriculture for good food to all, for healthy environment and for economic sustainability to farmers. Bio-diverse Agriculture is the best solution to counter the problems affecting it today including climate change. For, Biodeiverse agriculture is associated with natural resource management, Agroforestry and multiple cropping to fulfill all the needs to people and to environment.- Biodiverse Agri. trainings to Youth are important, because, many young people do not know what to do after studies and crowd the job markets. Not only jobs are not available to many, but also those who get jobs are unable to cope up with administrative demands. Agriculture is a vast area which can provide employments to many and also ii is culturally acceptable intervention for many. Hence, VOICE Trust approached Global Giving for supports. In September 2010 Open Challenge, VOICE Trust’s Project for Bio-diverse Agri. Trainings to 1500 Youth every year has been supported by 69 donors. Global Giving and VOICE Trust will continue to get more supports.b) Components of Agriculture: i) Land development with agro-eco analysis. ii) Soil fertility with organize manure / composts. iii) Water resource management with micro watersheds iv) Bio Pest repellants with herbals and biological agents. v) Less labor intensive farm tools to manage labor shortage. vi) Agro forestry to maintain Pest-Predator balance. vii) Multiple cropping to provide nutrition. viii) Value added products to eco friendly living ix) Ethical marketing to bind producers and consumers. x) Revival techniques for making agriculture sustainable.c) Methodology: * Minimum Lecture sessions on theory. * More practicals in farm fields. * Demonstration for Natural Resource Management. * Techniques for preparation of manures and pest repellants. * Exposures to successful farming centers.(VOICE Team invites Agricultural experts from government departments like Agricultural Extension, Forest Office, Banking Sector, Farming Networks, and Civil Society Organizations to make their expertise and guide the youth in Bio-diverse Agriculture.) 5) Results achieved during First Month:- Coverage was good in 4 locations.- But, discovery that youth are interested in agriculture is welcome news. VOICE Trust is strengthened in our collaboration with Global Giving to go forward in making agriculture more viable with Bio-diverse Agri Trainings and more valuable with poison-free food and eco friendly living.- Out of 200 youth so far covered under project #6265, following specialty activities have been welcomed by youth: Setting up vermicompost units by 24 youth Preparation of Bio pest repellants by 36 youth Manufacture of value added products by 72 youth Nursery raising and Tree seedlings by 42 youth Appropriate rural technology (Farm Tools) by 26 youthN.B: But, all will not follow-up effectively. May be one third will continue. Let us hope for more. Also, they need financial assistances to go forward in such follow-up activities. Definitely more youth coming forward to involve in Agri activities, is a good sign.6) Difficulties and possible solutions:i) 5 days training schedule is found heavy by many. Some prefer lesser number of days while others want either morning or evening times.N.B: VOICE Team has told them that their suggestions will be considered after we complete some more trainings and consult Global Giving Team and the Donors.ii) Full meals is preferred by many. Presently, we are providing variety rice like lemon rice/tomato rice with potato and onion side dish.N.B: VOICE Team will arrange the full meals.iii) Guide book on Bio-diverse Agriculture is considered important by many, so that, they can consult in times of difficulties.N.B: VOICE Team has discussed with Mr. T. Radhakrishnan, M.Sc(Agri.), Mrs. R. Kavitha, Mr. P. Gunasekaran, B.Sc(Agri.), Mrs. B. Vimala, Mr. A. Priyakumar, B.Sc(Agri.), the present Training Team for quick action to bring out a guide book on Biodiverse Agriculture.Conclusion:VOICE Trust is greatly appreciative of the opening made by Global Giving and the supports extended by Donors for Project #6265: “Bio-diverse Agri. Trainings to 1500 Youth every year”.VOICE Team assures effective action to implement the project work successfully. Strong collaboration with Global Giving is invited. Support from Donors is requested.(Mrs. A. JACINTHA) Siruganur Village,Managing Trustee. Trichy District,VOICE Trust. November 16, 2010 Tamil Nadu, India.
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