FARMING PROGRAMME

Core focus:

  • To bring living soil to the Nilgiri Hills once again

  

Thanks to general awareness of the benefits of organic farming, we receive many requests from farmers who wish to come under our umbrella.Our protocols for Organic/Natural farming have been fine-tuned over a dozen years of experience. Regular evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of outreach activities are done. We are constantly updating our delivery mechanisms though the message is just the same- stop poisoning the Earth. All else flows from that one single focus. 

  

The integrity and transparency with which we function has led to the Earth Trust name becoming synonymous with Organic farming methods in the Nilgiris. Beyond the economical activity of growing vegetables we actively encourage the farmer to grow vegetables for his own family consumption. This is where, having a wife who has been informed by our Health programme, plays a crucial role. 

Objectives and Activities

  • Guiding farmers on land preparation, planting and crop cycles, rain-water harvesting systems
  • Provide technical knowhow throughout
  • Motivating, Monitoring and Mentoring
  • Knowledge dissemination sessions at The Earth Trust Resource Farms
  • Training programmes conducted by experts
  • Facilitating organic certification
  • Identifying markets and matching demand and supply.
  • Providing a farmer protection Price (FPP)-their safety –net 
  • Eliminating the middle man.
  • Ensuring regular payments to farmers
  • Demonstrating commercial viability
  • Value addition of seasonal and other produce.

Impact

We focus on health, nutrition and economic viability and sustainability of chemical-free farming. At the end of the day, the farmer wants to see the figures in his bank-pass book growing. Words like climate-change have no relevance in his day to day activities. We buy and sell his produce. Our farmers are paid fortnightly. By eliminating the middleman, we have made this whole exercise a win-win one. 

Each farmer who joins us is one small step towards our primary agenda - bringing back a living soil.

Farming - Engagement with Government

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Detail your services

  • Parliamentary Standing Committee, National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA), Earth Trust was the only Nilgiri based NGO to be invited for the meet.
  • Workshop conducted by the State Govt. Special Area Development Programme (SADP) on Organic Farming

Farming Programme – Training

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  • Motivating and teaching small farmers to convert to Sustainable Organic Agricultural Practices.
  • Providing advice and inputs on multi-cropping to better respond to seasonal variations in market demand and ensure year-round income.
  • Mentoring / monitoring their progress by regular visits.

Holabettu Farm

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Women from Puduhatty village on an Exposure visit to Holabettu Farm,Enabling Mothers To Reach Out To Mother Earth

Kollimalai Biodynamic Farm

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The only Organic farm in the Nilgiris that makes a complete range of composts including Biodynamic preparations, it is in the Kotha tribal belt at Kollimalai.

Marketing Local Engagement

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Sorting farmers’ produce for display and sales at our Ooty shop

Local Sales

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Our Coonoor Shop- meeting place to share the vision of The Earth Trust

Consulting & Advisory Farming

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Farming in the heart of Ooty! - Consulting for setting up organic farms/vegetable gardens for bigger, non-agricultural stakeholders.

Lightening the Farmer's Load

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Managing the process of purchasing, certifying and marketing the farmers’ produce to Over 100 buyers. Ensuring attractive prices sales outlets, AND timely, regular payment directly into the farmers’ bank account every 15 days..

Womens’ Health Programme

Core Focus

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To enable the rural and Tribal women of the Nilgiris to develop in mind, body and spirit.

The Womens’ programme was started by our founder Ms Vanya Orr in 2007. Two programmes are held in tandem over a period of three months- The Health programme and the Skill Development Programme. We honour the fact that women have to juggle their times between their various roles as wife, mother, grandmother, agricultural worker etc. We therefore take our programmes to remote villages. This provides an ease of access that encourages participation. The women become proactive agents of change. 


Health Programme

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Core Focus: 

Optimal health through Nutrition, Traditional and Alternate healing Therapies. 

The Nilgiris, unlike other parts of the country, is well served with Hospitals and with Primary Health Care Centres. Much of this is set up by the numerous Tea Estates in the region and by the State Government respectively. A source of deep concern for all of us at Earth Trust is the severe incidence of malnutrition locally. There is a high incidence of sickle-cell anemia amongst the Tribal population. All over the world the cost of medicine is being driven up beyond the reach of poor people. In the future, post oil scenario, it is absolutely vital that there is a focus & a new dynamic for local facilities and sustainability in all areas of life. Earth Trust recognises that women are the ‘keepers’ of family health and traditional knowledge. Capacity needs to be built NOW with local communities and at grass roots level.   

Skill Development Programme

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Teaching women “to fish”.

In the Nilgiris there are different tribal & non tribal women who are working under varied situations like agricultural labourers, tea pluckers, small scale industry workers & home makers. These women are not assured of regular employment due to seasonal variations. Our programme helps them address this uncertainty factor. A homemaker’s work never ends. We teach her to use her time creatively with potential for earning. We bring these women together for a period of three months and equip them with self employment skills.  

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OBJECTIVES

  •  To empower rural women by teaching new skills through Tailoring & Knitting 
  • To provide a supportive environment to build self confidence, self reliance & self-worth.
  • Create potential for improvement of their socio -economic condition 
  • To reduce economic vulnerability and dependency in the community of our project area.
  • Create self employment for their livelihood.
  • Provide necessary support for marketing their products. 

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IMPACT/OUTCOME OF THE PROGRAMME

  • Women are now supporting their families by generating income directly and indirectly. 
  • The direct income is through making sweaters, stitching clothes and selling it within the village 
  • The indirect income is that they are saving on their tailoring bills and on buying sweaters. Above all it generates a sense of fulfilling and active contribution to family finances. 
  • The women gain in self-confidence. 
  • The Trainees have an option to buy sewing –machines, take orders from their neighbours and others.
  • Women’s empowerment will be ensured to some extent
  • The benefits also go far beyond financial stability by helping build strong communities and giving them a warm sense of accomplishment, dignity and pride.
  • The trained women are provided with a certificate which helps them in getting loans and jobs.

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Eco-club Programme -“Warriors of the Rainbow”

Core Focus

Creating “Warriors of the Rainbow” 

 

We humans as a race have exploited Nature and her bounty. The children of the world are the inheritors of this distressed planet. We have to bring back a deep awareness of the web of life and our inter-connectedness. This has to become part of our consciousness. All ancient traditions acknowledge this. As part of our efforts towards this goal, we at the Earth Trust are working with Middle-School children between the6th and 8th grades. Fields of involvement are sustainable agriculture,alternative waste management, recycling, environmental education,impact of synthetic inputs and cause and effects of Climate changes.For us at the Earth Trust the Eco-club is an act of faith.

Tribal Initiatives

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The primary focus of the Earth Trust has been on Health and Nutrition. 

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The Kurumba villagers in earnest discussion with ET staff.

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Earth Trust, with funding and support provided by The Hans Foundation Delhi, initiated measures that have markedly improved the tribals’ living standards. Some of these are:  fencing the whole village, providing a Medicinal preparation unit for the women’s group, cows and cow shed, toilets, smokeless chulas, water storage tanks, roof repair, planting a herbal plant nursery etc.