Oct 22, 2018

Organic Farming and Climate Change Mitigation

We are at a time where global climatic conditions have changed drastically and weather patterns are becoming more and more erratic. In the name of economic development, all the resources that nature has provided are being exploited and they are undergoing gradual degradation. The world is at the crossroads and at a crucial juncture, where choices are to be made to restore the natural resources and mitigate climate change issues or bear the brunt. The role of agriculture in mitigating global warming/climate change has to be realized.

Organic and natural methods of farming offer management practices that can help mitigate climate change by strengthening agro-ecosystems. Organic farming helps increase the soil organic carbon and thereby enhance carbondioxide sequestration. Organic/natural farming methods provide additional benefits of reduced energy use (for the production of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides), biodiversity preservation, safe and nutritious food and associated health benefits.

In India, the state of Sikkim has made large strides towards the organic movement and has been declared 100% organic state by the Government of India. Many other states in India are trying to follow the Sikkim way, but are proceeding at snail’s pace. In the Nilgiris district of the Tamilnadu state, the Earth Trust has been working over more than a decade long to encourage farmers towards the organic way. The Earth Trust has been to an extent successful in creating awareness and educating (small and medium) farmers on the organic way of farming. However the challenges it is facing are manifold. It needs support from all quarters to push the organic movement in the most important district of the southern India state which is not only a biodiversity reserve but an important horticultural hub providing food produce to many parts of the country.

Aug 17, 2018

HEALTH & SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Rain or shine, the Earth Trust’s health and skill development program for the village women in the villages of the Nilgiris district runs uninterrupted thanks to the dedicated efforts of the staff and the keen interest shown by the beneficieries of the program. The program continued its journey in the Manihatty village and then headed on to the next one, Thuneri where it is currently delivering its services.   

It is needless to say that the health and skill development program continues to make a mark in the hearts of the women in the rural villages. The beneficieries find that the health program extremely helpful in terms of grooming their health, acquire knowledge and help revive the old herbal medicinal practices of the native population. They are also richly benefitted from the skill development program, where skills such as tailoring and knitting are being taught. On the whole, the program is aiming at empowering the women by building self-confidence and making them self-reliant.

In one of the villages, a women named Sivagami, after attending the program is making use of the tailoring skills to earn handful of money that would take care of her family’s financial needs. Likewise, the Earth Trust is making an indelible mark in each of the villages where its program is being conducted. The two villages of Manihatty and Thuneri has ten and twenty beneficieries respectively of the health/skill development program.

Jul 25, 2018

Biodynamic Farming by the Earth Trust

ET's Biodynamic Farm
ET's Biodynamic Farm

The Nilgiris district in South India is an agriculture hub producing and supplying vegetables and spices to the rest of the country. However, it is also becoming the land of degraded soil quality, because of the decades long chemical-based cultivation and the indiscriminate and mindless application of chemical fertilizers.

The Earth Trust is trying to beat all hardships to help revitalize the soil quality and to produce safe food by training farmers on organic farming practices. The Kollimalai resource farm stands testimony to that. It is a 1.75 acre biodynamic farm, the one of its kind in the Nilgiris and one of the very few in the entire South India.

The Kollimalai farm is a center for biodynamic preparations (BD 500 – 507), vegetable and herbs cultivation. The farm follows the biodynamic concepts and calendar in its sowing and harvesting operations. This farm has been carefully nurtured over the years, which has a highly capable workforce, and is well versed in biodynamic preparation techniques and biodynamic farming.

The farm, due to its uniqueness, attracts learners and volunteers from different walks of life.

It is indeed a fact that the Kollimalai farm is far from being a model biodynamic farm; paucity of funds being one of the major reasons for its under utilization. Plans are underway to develop it into a model farm and to make it as a center for biodynamic training for the farming community.

BD preparation by ET field staff
BD preparation by ET field staff
Visitors from the Tamilnadu Agriculture University
Visitors from the Tamilnadu Agriculture University
Volunteering in the Farm
Volunteering in the Farm
Visitors from the abroad
Visitors from the abroad
 
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