In the 2018-19 grant round, Permafund supported the Women’s Organisation for Rural Development (WORD) in India with a micro-grant for their project to help marginal farmers cultivate grains and indigenous millets and create a seed bank for future crops.
Based in the Indian Namakkal District of Tamil Nadu, the project reached 225 farmers in targeted villages where rain-fed agriculture is predominant. In the growing season 150 farmers were provided with sorghum and millet to cultivate on their land and 75 farmers sowed maize. All of the harvests improved food security for the villages.
The farmers’ harvest returned double the quantity of grains and millet seeds to WORD’s seed bank ready for the July 2020 to February 2021 growing season.
The Women’s Organisation for Rural Development has expressed their sincere thanks to Permaculture Australia’s Permafund for their support and partnership with WORD and the farmers in their area.
WORD officially formed in 1991 based on an 80’s movement of young women inspired by the spirit of the Gandhian Boodan Movement of the 60’s. That movement had attempted to persuade wealthy landowners to voluntarily give a percentage of their land to landless people.
Among the motivations for WORD has been the appalling plight of the Dalits, who are among the most marginalised and deprived populations. Another challenge is the rising degradation and depletion of the natural resources which marginal villages rely on for their livelihoods.
One off and recurring donations to Permafund are assisting community-oriented organisations like this in Australia and around the world.