Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils

by VOICE Trust
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils
Teaching Sustainable Agriculture to Young Tamils

We have organized a Pachaimalai Hill visit for observing the biodiversity for sustainable agriculture. 16 young talented & passionate students have been selected from the different Govt schools of Tiruchirapalli District. The objective of that visit was 

  • To spread awareness about the importance of Natural resources & Preserving Forest cover for the sustainable agriculture
  • To make them understand the diversified Bio-diversity and their roles in balancing the nature
  • To make them understand bio-mimicry.
  • To explore the Pachaimalai forest trekking to know the different species of trees, shrubs, medicinal plants, plants, grass & their bio-diversity system, where they are all supporting each other through their root system.
  • To interact, learn and understand the traditional cultures and lifestyle of Pachaimalai hills.
  • To provide a better platform to collaborate with other school students to improve their communication & leadership skills.

Our journey to Pachimalai Hill started from Govt Shayad Higher Secondary School, Trichy by Two traveler vans. During the travel, Mr.Silambarasan P (Program Manager) has done activities of getting to know each other, Trees Name, Food Chain activity, etc with the students. We reached Pachaialai Hill at around 1 pm, and had an open field discussion about the pachaimalai hill, Bio-diversity, Nature, etc in Forest Department office-Pachaimalai.

Students and faculties have done the lunch organized by VOICE Trust & Forest Department Official of Pachaimalai Hill. And after lunch, the students have taken Jackfruit & Mango saplings from the ground & prepared nursery pots to bring it to their natives for the plantation.

Then we reached Senbagam Nature Trekking Way, which was a dense forest to take trekking of 3 Km. Once we reached the entrance of the dense forest the cool and humid breeze started to blow. Many of us got excited to feel trekking for the first time. During the trekking, the Forest Guide (Mr. Mani-Tribal Community) explained the forest and the different species of trees, plants & shrubs. We have seen that there are more bamboo trees exist in that dense forest.

 

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Chilli is one of the most valuable crops of India. The crop is grown largely for its fruits all over the India. It is used in India as a principle ingredient of various curries, and chutneys. It is also used for vegetables, spices, condiments, sauces and pickles. Dry chillies are used for curry powder. Red colour in chili is due to “Capsanthin”. Pungency in chillies is due to the active constituent “Capsaicin”, an alkaloid, is extracted from chilies and is used in medicine.

One of our farmer "Mrs.Ramya" got training in cultivating organic chilly by practicing Integrated Nutrient Management and Integrated Pest Management. In the 60 Cents of land, she got an wonderful yield of 2 Tons of Organic Red Chilly.

All of this positive change is a direct result of your generous support.  Thank you, sincerely, for making these impacts possible.  As Ramayee’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!

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Children attending the Sunday Agricultural School
Children attending the Sunday Agricultural School

A vital cog in the transformation of human history, agriculture has always held the power to nurture and destroy empires. While a well-fed army and subjects contributed to the flourishment of a great civilization, a drought-prone and famished army and subjects have always brought in wars and civil strife. In the age of nation-states as well, this idea holds true. However, in recent decades, agriculture as we know it has taken a dramatic turn into a chemical-intensive and monoculture-centric mass production system. With climate change and pandemics tightening their grip on the world, food safety will be at risk in the near future. In this background, VOICE Trust turned to the changemakers who can bring lasting impact- our children. 

" We are taught about chemical fertilizer, natural fertilizer, soil preparation and management, techniques of growing vegetables, planting preparation, pest management, and many more things. This has helped me to guide my parents with sustainable, effective and low-cost farming practices that do less harm to mother earth", says Darshini a young learner at the 'Sunday Agriculture School' that is conducted in the village of Maniyankurichi, Tiruchirapalli District, Tamil Nadu, India. She was happy to be a part of the school and has proudly perched herself in the front row, raising hands to ask doubts and to interact with the trainers like her fellow classmates. 

" We are happy to see them progress and understand nuances of organic agriculture at a young age. This allows them to appreciate the practices without perception bias. Along with the technical knowledge of agriculture skills, we are teaching life skills which are self-awareness, empathy, critical thinking, creating thinking, decision making, problem-solving, effective communication, interpersonal relationship, coping with stress, and managing emotions. We are seeing wonderful results with our 35 young learners and are planning to take this initiative to the next level by recruiting local interns", says P Silambarasan, who manages the Ecology and Empowerment Program at VOICE Trust. A community-based learning method has been adopted wherein older women farmers and entrepreneurs are recruited as interns who support the initiative and help the children learn hands-on work. 

The journey with these 35 little ones within the age group of 09-14 years wasn't easy. The pandemic and torrential rains had on many occasions played a spoilsport. But what could beat a child's will to learn something new? So they came in beaming with hope and pride, to learn the ways to craft a new and better world. Many thanks and love to all our donors. 

They brought in fresh ideas and we were all ears!
They brought in fresh ideas and we were all ears!
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an abundant harvest
an abundant harvest

Dhanalakshmi and her husband Irudhayaraj provide a recent example of the way your donation continues to transform lives. On their one-acre farm, they grow sesame, peanuts, chillies, brinjal (eggplant), and two types of gourds. One of these, the snake gourd, is not only rich in vitamins and minerals but has antibiotic qualities that are considered to boost immunity. So this year, they decided to devote 40% of their land to growing more of it.

Using the training they had received from VOICE Trust, they used neem and goat manure as fertilizer. Neem, made from the native neem tree, enriches the soil, reduces nitrogen loss and protects the crops against certain pests. For more natural pest control, they used a ginger, garlic, and chilli mixture. And because they also have two cows, they were able to make panchakavya, as we had taught them, from cow dung, urine, milk, and ghee. They applied it three times during the season to promote plant growth and to further control pests.

Their gamble paid off. The sustainable farming techniques they had used produced an abundant crop. Because of the natural diversity of the seeds they used, which they had previously banked, they were able to harvest from day 50 through the 112th day. After the first, month-long, harvest, they had a whopping 130 kg of gourds. The gourds sold quickly, and returned a net profit of Rs. 48660 (almost $700 US) -- about twice what the average Indian farm would provide in that time.

Enjoy the smile on Dhanalakshmi’s face: your support put it there!

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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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Organization Information

VOICE Trust

Location: Tiruchirpalli, Tamil Nadu - India
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Twitter: @VOICETrichy
Project Leader:
VOICE Trust
Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu India
$12,345 raised of $15,000 goal
 
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