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Feb 25, 2020

Growing hope

Few of them attending nursery growing class
Few of them attending nursery growing class

Despite GlobalGiving's continuing difficulties with disbursing funds to India, we were able to train 12 more young farmers in techniques to increase crop yield even in difficult climatic conditions.  The Forest Department was able to offer them workshops to teach them:

  • selection of quality seeds that will sprout and thrive in their farm's environment;
  • preservation of seeds in an air cooler;
  • creation and maintenance of a greenery nursery;
  • latest techniques in beekeeping;
  • seed banking to maintain indigenous seeds. 

They made plans to start their own seed bank after learning how one can help improve resistance to emerging plant diseases and insects, provide better drought and flood tolerance, and produce more abundant and nutritious crops.

The Ranger Office said he was inspired to see young people committed to organic farming, and the students said they were inspired by how it could improve their lives and their community.

We are eager to help them put what they have learned into practice, with your kind and continuing support, as soon as GlobalGiving is able to release your donations to us.

With the gratitude of the entire Voice Trust team --

Jecintha

Techniques in Preservation of seeds in air cooler
Techniques in Preservation of seeds in air cooler
Seed quality checking sessions
Seed quality checking sessions
Feb 20, 2020

Volunteers are our life blood

Although GlobalGiving's negotiations with the Indian government have not yet resolved away to disburse the funds donated to this and all other India-based projects, we have continued to do the one thing we can do without funding:  utilize our virtual volunteers to research new ideas that will make the farmer's tree plantations more profitable and help protect against future storms, and to search for grants that would enable us to continue without GlobalGiving fundings.  

One of our volunteers, noting that much of the land impacted by the cyclone still had to be cleared of fallen trees, came up with the idea of burning the wood in biochar kilns -- an environmentally friendly way to burn the wood on site to create charcoal that can be used to enrich the soil.    The kilns are easy to construct from inexpensive materials, and can be moved from farm to farm.   But we will need an army of volunteers to chop up the wood and prepare the kilns to burn it.  

Our volunteer Grant Researcher has exhaustively reviewed dozens of websites that might offer grants or business loans that we could apply for.  They have located a small grant opportunity that might fund hiring a project manager who could oversee volunteer recruitment and the construction of dozens of kilns, and another volunteer is working on preparing our application.

If you would like to help if we are able to start this project, please message me through the Voice Trust page on Facebook.

Thank you so much for your patience, and for any support you can offer --

Janet Preety


Attachments:
Feb 18, 2020

Continuing research, new ideas

how women farmers currently sell their produce
how women farmers currently sell their produce

Although GlobalGiving's negotiations with the Indian government have not yet resolved away to disburse the funds donated to this and all other India-based projects, we have continued to do the one thing we can do without funding:  utilize our virtual volunteers to research new ideas that will make women's organic farming more profitable and more environmentally friendly, and to search for grants that would enable us to continue without GlobalGiving fundings.  

Our volunteer Grant Researcher has exhaustively reviewed dozens of potentially helpful websites, but so far located only one grant opportunity worth pursuing, for which we are in the process of developing an application.  Meanwhile, other research has turned up a new product we are currently investigating:  solar-powered food carts. 

Currently, women farmers in southern India can barely support themselves and their families on what they grow.  When they try to sell their meager harvest along the dry and dusty highway, the heat limits their hours and wilts their produce.  The wet gunny bags sprinkled with water that they use to try to keep it fresh accelerates spoilage and leeches out vitamins.   Post-harvest food waste takes a heavy toll on the women's subsistence income, and on the efficient use of resources. 

Solar food carts will allow the women's agribusinesses to market their wares to a larger market for more hours of the day, and by decreasing heat and increasing humidity, will keep the produce fresh for up to five days,  Benefits include a better income, more nutritional value, and less food waste.

We continue to hope that by the time we next write to you, we will be able to report some more concrete results.

Thanks for your patience, and your faith in us  --

Janet Preethi for Voice Trust

solar food carts offer a better option
solar food carts offer a better option
 
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