Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers

by VOICE Trust
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Sustainable Incomes for 3945 Young Organic Farmers
Azolla algae
Azolla algae
Since Tamil Nadu has been subject to a complete lockdown, VOICE Trust has been unable to continue any of its field activities.  However, one of our earlier activities to support COVID recovery (when, alas, we thought the worst was past!) has turned out to be hugely helpful in the current situation.  In January and February of this year, we provided 300 farmers in 15 villages with containers for vermicomposting and tarpaulin sheets for preparing manure from azolla algae. Because these farmers have already attended our workshops on creating organic fertilizer, they were able to put these supplies to use right away, without further training.

Since then, VOICE Trust has been receiving phone calls from many of the recipients to let us know what a huge benefit being able to make their own fertilizer has been during the lockdown, when farmers who rely on purchasing fertilizers have been unable to do so. The azola algae has been especially successful, since it provides nutritious feed for livestock as well as a rich fertilizer for crops.  Keeping cattle and goats well fed has been a challenge for other farmers, since it is summer in Tamil Nadu, and hard to find green fodder. One of the farmers we helped reported that the cattle he fed with azolla algae gave an extra of 1.5 liters per milking. In other words, a cow that normally produced 5 liters of milk is now giving 6.5 liters. Another reported that his goats had increased in weight and were yielding especially juicy meat, which will bring a better price when he is able to sell them, and will help feed his family now during the lockdown. 
Sustainable farming is not only better for the planet, it increases resiliency during hard times!  
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The world of sustainable organic farming techniques is such a rich one!  One case in point is panchakavya, a natural manure made from five different products that come from cows or that can be produced from their milk, together with a few other readily available ingredients.  When sprayed on crops, panchakavya dramatically increases yield, extends shelf life, and even improves taste and nutrition.

So we recently held a workshop to teach rural youth, both prospective farmers and a few who are already farming, how to produce panchakavya. 

The young people enjoyed the workshop, and those whose families keep cows were eager to share the information with their parents or to try it for themselves.

Knowing how to make panchakavya is a skill that will produce higher net profits from farmland for years to come.  And you helped us pass along this knowlege!

With gratitude to everyone who has supported this project over the years --

Janet

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Thangavel stands among his crops.
Thangavel stands among his crops.

As you probably know, VOICE Trust has trained thousands of farmers in sustainable organic farming practices over the last ten years.  Although we are not currently able to conduct more training sessions due to COVID restrictions, we thought you might enjoy hearing how one of the farmers we trained several years ago is doing.

Thangavel has practiced organic farming for the past four years and has taken advantage of several of Voice Trust's educational initiatives, most recently a class on Integrated Pest Management.  BecauseThangavel uses strategically chosen natural cultivation methods to protect his crops against the risks of extreme weather and to help ensure the long-term productivity of his land, his agribusiness has been thriving..

To avoid the soil-depleting effects of monocropping, Thangavel seeds his family’s 1.5-acre plot with high-yield rice and native urad beans in alternating years.  This year, the crop of choice was ADT-36, a rice varietal that is resistant to common pests, drought, and high temperatures. Thangavel tends his crops using low-cost, organic fertilizing and pest control techniques, protecting the environment and maximizing his yield.  He reports that neighboring farmers have been impressed by the success of his harvests, and have asked him to share his secrets.

Thus the effect of our training keeps expanding: year after year, from one small farm to the next, children are nourished with healthier food, the land and water are protected from harsh industrial farming techniques, and farmers like Thangavel earn sustainable incomes to support their families.  

All of this positive change is a direct result of your generous support.  Thank you, sincerely, for making these impacts possible.  As Thangavel’s story shows, the lessons and supplies you have enabled Voice Trust to deliver are taking hold, seeding sustainable success and resilience.  

Together, we can make a difference!

Gratefully, 

Janet Preethi

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Practical sessions
Practical sessions

Agricultural Education is so important for our world. Agricultural Education involves more than just teaching students the basics of seed production or how to judge livestock. It provides the opportunity for people to understand that agriculture is not just farming; it’s a sustainable way of life. If we don’t have Ag Education, we will have many uneducated people in the world.

With a rapidly increasing population and a demand to feed 9.6 billion people by the year 2050, the agriculture industry needs talented, and passionate youth willing to make a commitment to agriculture. Many of these individuals will not have the production background that some have grown up in. They must learn this knowledge and understand the depth of the industry. This is best accomplished through middle school and high school agricultural education classes, where students have the opportunity to learn and develop the skills necessary for us to remain world leaders in agriculture.

Why it’s important that they learn?

The world is adapting at a radical pace and the children of today are growing up into a world where updates are daily, technology is seemingly limitless and there are millions of directions one could take.

But how many of these children will learn more about the cute farm animals and the foods they eat (other than what’s healthy and unhealthy). In schools, there isn’t a great focus on agriculture because it’s trumped by mathematics and sciences. And, while those are important, even in the agricultural sector, attention needs to be drawn to farming.

Our new initiative:

We have successfully completed 4 weeks to Agriculture training for school children. This lockdown, COVID-19 issues, etc has put Children in Home. So we thought this is the exact time to begin this with few Children. 

Week1: Introduction about agriculture and the importance of Children learning agriculture.

Week 2: Practical sessions of preparing organic manures like Azolla

Week 3: Follow up of Azolla production set up and distribution of greens seeds to grow in a small level within their home.

Week 4: Setting up of agriculture garden.

The interest Children show is very energetic and sharing positivity.

A big Thank you to all who are helping us to build "Future Agriculture"

Seeds distribution by an inspiring small agri
Seeds distribution by an inspiring small agri
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Like much of the rest of the world during this difficult time, the team at Voice Trust is working from home, doing our best to keep our children entertained and our families fed -- and scrambling to meet the demands of a wholly unexpected catastrophe.  India is in complete lockdown, which means all transport has ground to a halt, leaving farmers with no way to deliver their crops to wholesalers or market them by the side of the road.  And, in any case, with all restaurants shuttered and families so stretched that fruit and vegetables have become a luxury item, demand for their products has evaporated.  And these farmers live even closer to the edge than many elsewhere, which means without an income they are in danger of starvation.

As you likely remember, GlobalGiving has been negotiating with the Indian government for over a year now, trying to find a way to disburse funds to Indian banks.  But although they are making some progress, a solution is not yet in sight.

But happily, Health & Education 4 All International, a charity based in the United States, has kindly agreed to act as our fiscal sponsor, meaning GlobalGiving can disburse your past donations to them and they will transmit the funds to us.  So we will soon be able to get to work distributing emergency food and supplies and cash grants to those most in need.  We will try to target those young farmers who are in danger of losing everything if they don't get help.   

Crops ready for harvest now are in danger of being left to rot in the field by farmers who often can't harvest them without migrant labor, even if they could find a way to sell them.  So we will also be exploring ways to purchase their produce directly in order to distribute it to families in need.

If you are able to further support our efforts, you can now donate to this project or to the new project we have launched to provide emergency COVID-19 relief, with the confidence that it will be put to good use immediately.

As always, thanks for your past support and for any future help you can offer.

Stay well -- stay safe -- stay home --

Janet Preethi

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Organization Information

VOICE Trust

Location: Tiruchirpalli, Tamil Nadu - India
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Twitter: @VOICETrichy
Project Leader:
VOICE Trust
Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu India
$9,044 raised of $15,000 goal
 
179 donations
$5,956 to go
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