In 2018 the Integrated Rural Development Society (IRDS) of the Salem District, Tamil Nadu successfully applied for a Permfund micro grant to conduct training workshops for 50 tribal farmers from the Mannur, Alamarathukadu, and Poomarathupatti villages in the Kalrayan Hills.
Farmers with an interest in permaculture and new agriculture methods were identified with the help of farmer leaders before being introduced to the project’s goals and main activities.
A series of workshops were conducted covering permaculture and organic agriculture methods to maximise return from the same land in multiple ways, the control of weeds by intercropping, making liquid fertiliser to increase micro-organisms in the soil and water harvesting to improve soil moisture.
Seeds and seedlings were distributed to increase the diversity of vegetable and indigenous grain crops being cultivated. The project has helped the farmers lessen their reliance on outside inputs and improve their harvests for better food security.
On behalf of the tribal farmers, the IRDS team has expressed their sincere thanks to Permaculture Australia and Permafund for the partnership, cooperation and support that’s enabled the organisation to implement this important project in their community.
The activities of the Integrated Rural Development Society include raising awareness of the importance of protective, preventive health practices including providing clean drinking water and good sanitation. Other major issues addressed by the organisation are the empowerment of women, environmental protection, HIV and AIDS awareness and health development through alternate medical practices such as naturopathy and yoga practices.
Tax deductible donations to Permafund support permaculture-oriented projects like this in Australia and overseas.
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