Agriculture and Ecology

TSSS has launched the new programme to benefit the small and marginal farmers.

Key objectives of the project:

  1. To enhance the productive participation of  women in agriculture;
  2. To create sustainable agricultural livelihood opportunities for women
  3. To ensure food & nutritional security of women

Staff Training:

The staffs of TSSS were given orientation and training on the project particulars. The staffs were well informed of the project objectives, activities and strategies. It enabled the staff to choose the Project villages, beneficiaries and methodologies for accomplishing the project goals and objectives.

Livestock Development Programme:

The poor and marginalized women farmers were identified and selected for rearing milch animals. The women were given livestock assistance to the tune of Rs.15000 to 20000. During the reporting period under review, 50 women have been supported with a credit of Rs.800000/- The loan amount would be recovered in easy installments. The women were linked with the milk producers cooperatives promoted by TSSS. The women were encouraged to pour the milk they produce to the cooperative out-let maintained by TSSS.

Training on Organic Farming for Sustainability of Small and Marginal Farmers:

The selected 200 farmers were divided into 4 Batches for the training and easy access to training venue and for active participation. Accordingly, the trainings were held in different places

Key subjects of the training: 

  • Impact of synthetic fertilizers on the Health and Soil fertility
  • Bio-fertilizers and Bio pesticides – An alternative!
  • Enhancing soil fertility and productivity of land
  • Agriculture – Man – Ecology: The balance in nature!
  • Is organic farming profitable?
  • Case studies on Success of organic farming.

Exposure visits:

In continuation to the training on Organic Farming, an exposure visit was organized. Empirical knowledge enhances the confidence and trust of people in any field. Therefore, in order to make the farmers observe the impact and results of organic farming, TSSS took the selected farmers to gain practical and visible knowledge on the concept. All 200 farmers were given orientation training cum exposure. Since the number of participants was high, they were taken for exposure in four batches of 50 each, in order to get wider and in-depth knowledge and experience about organic farming.

Highlights of Exposure visits:

  • Bio-fertilizer production cum Bio-pesticide production for pest control
  • Tree plantation and live fencing
  • Multiple cropping / integrated farming
  • Value addition to organic marketing
  • Organic products fetch high price, drought resistant, less consumption of water and
  • Low investment cost.

Establishment of Organic Market:

With a view to add value to the organic products and encourage organic farming practices among farming communities, TSSS has established an organic outlet at Palayamkottai. The cost of organic products was fixed at higher rates by 10% over the other products in the market. The women were given assistance to cultivate greens, vegetables and fruits which were brought to the organic market. Vegetables like bitter guards, snake-guards, onions, tomatoes, brinjals, green chillies, etc were produced and marketed.

HANDBILLS:

Hand bills on organic farming and the negative impact of chemical inputs in agriculture including genetically modified seeds was prepared in consultation with experts and the same materials were compiled and printed and published in the form of hand bills. Farmers on their own accord put into practice, the knowledge gained through the training and workshops organized by TSSS. They also innovate, add their experience and expertise in the field, and experiment what they believe.

Soil Testing:

Soil Testing helps to identify the nutrients and quality of soil, which in turn will help to select suitable corps in accordance with the soil quality. Moreover, application of nutrients and fertilizers can be selective and relevant to the requirement of the soil. This will enhance the soil condition and fertility. Therefore, soil testing was insisted. TSSS organized an orientation to the farmers on how to carry out soil testing. Farmers were properly instructed to dig the soil at the suitable depth and did mixing while collecting the soil for test. Officials tested the soil and presented a detailed report on the soil type, quality, nutrients present and the deficiency found in the particular soil. Above all they had also stated which crops could be raised in the particular soil.

Enhancement of the soil fertility- Construction of Vermi-Beds:

In order to enrich the soil fertility, farmers were encouraged to apply bio-fertilizers and organic manures. All the organic farmers in their respective cultivable land carried out soil enrichment programme. The programme had three major components, the first one is the  preparation of PANCHAKAVIYA  ( a Plant Nutrient prepared with mixture of 5kg of Cow   dung, 5 litres of  Homium (animal urine), 2 litres of Milk, 2 litres of  butter milk, 1/2 litre of Ghee and  1/2 litre of Jaggery) The mixture also serves as a pest control.

The second one is enrichment through land-based activities such as mulching, bunding, application of green manure, mixed cropping, rotation of cropping, ploughing etc., The third component is preparation and application of vermi-compost. In this regard, farmers were given financial assistance to establish vermin bed made of concrete structures. A series of training was offered by TSSS at Bharathinagar Demonstration Farm.

Construction of Vermi Beds:

The members of Natural Farmers Association were given financial assistance to the tune of Rs.2000 each to construct vermi-beds in their own land or backyard of their kitchen. It depended on the availability of land and accessibility to the women farmers. Some had their lands very close to their houses and hence they had constructed the vermin-bed adjacent to their residence. The bed was filled with farm wastes and cow dung layer by layer, and it was mixed daily. One kg of vermi worms suitable to the area was purchased from organic farmers in the nearby area or district and was laid in the bed. Water was sprayed daily and the worms used to feed on the farm wastes and dung and produced finer quality of manure with necessary potentials to enrich soil fertility and productivity. Gradually the wastes in the bed became mulched and turned into black and the whole waste was converted into rich manures.

BHARATHY NAGAR DAIRY FARM:

AGRICULTURAL DEMONSTRATION FARM
The vegetables like ribbed gourd, tomato, brinjal, ladies finger, drum stick, lettuce, and fruits like plantain, lime, jasmine flower and coconut are brought to the TSSS marketing outlet for sale. An agriculture demonstration farm is being maintained at Bharathi Nagar Training centre.  It serves as a demonstration plot to the trainees.  In order to promote organic cultivation in the target areas, vermi compost beds have been set up in the training centre to give training to the federation people.  Demonstration for Panchakavya preparation and organic pesticides are also made available in the training centre. The vermi compost and the Panchakavya produced in the farm are being supplied to the farmers who are practicing organic farming.

  • As the vegetables are grown using organic fertilizers and pesticides the demand for the organic vegetables have increased considerably.
  • The income from the sale of vegetables and fruits are used to meet the maintenance expenses of the training centre

Livestock and Tree population in the farm:

Livestock population:

Goats 44
Cows 33
Calves 21
Bull 04
Goose 02
Giriraja chicks 05
Country chicken 15


Tree population:

Coconut trees 198
Lime trees (yielding) 450
Lime Tree seedlings 100
Mango trees (yielding) 73
Mango seedlings 107

St. Mary’s Farm and Community Hall-Manur:

St. Mary’s Farm is the land attached to the community hall at Manur is begin used to cultivate medicinal herbs, vegetables, goose berry and ground nuts. Drip irrigation is used for the Alovera cultivation. The vegetables grown in the farm is sold through the TSSS marketing outlet. The income from the farm is used to maintain the farm and to meet the running expenses.

V.M. Chatram Farm:

Paddy, vegetables, mangoes and coconuts are grown in the farm. During the reporting year 8 acres of land was put to paddy cultivation. Otrainel (one paddy crop) cultivation was practiced and it yielded good results. There are 11 calves in this farm. The vegetables and fruits harvested from the farm are sold at the Marketing outlet at the Head office of TSSS in Palayamkottai.

Distribution of Tree Saplings:

Global warming remains one of the major concerns of the Globe. Tree planting is one of the key strategy to reduce global warming. In order to enhance the green cover in rural areas, TSSS with the partnership and support of Mr.Maria Baskar, a member of the Resource Support Organization promoted by TSSS, distributed 3000 saplings at free of cost to the farmers. Neem, Guava, mango and other horticulture tree saplings were distributed through farmers organizations.