Let’s Cultivate Development
A few years ago, rural families of the Karur district in Tamil Nadu were still able to support themselves by cultivating their lands. Following the absence of a significant monsoon in the region during the last years, rain-dependent crops have gradually decreased. As the wells were drained, the irrigated crops were also drastically affected. In addition, following the siltation and drying up of the village tanks, the general lack of water badly impacted breeding farms. The area of cultivation has been drastically reduced the past ten years. Many families migrated to Karur, Tirupur and nearby districts to earn livelihood by working mainly in textile units and construction sites.
With two-thirds of Indian land being cultivated thanks to monsoons alone, the management of water resources is a key factor in improving agricultural production. Casa Foundation’s “Let’s Cultivate Development” follows an integrated approach and aims at impacting several aspects of people’s lives such as women empowerment, income generating activities and agricultural activities, always by seeking the support and involvement of the impacted communities.
In partnership with the NGOs SEVAI and GRAMIUM in Tamil Nadu, Casa Foundation is working on increasing the incomes of the farmers through hydraulic infrastructures rehabilitation. Developing hydraulic infrastructures (tanks, dams, channels, and wells) is an essential point of the program. The rehabilitation of those equipments aims at increasing the wet land area for a more efficient and sustained production.
The project includes also a complete training program for farmers of the villages surrounding the tanks: farmers are trained to responsible and durable irrigation practices, organic agriculture, and the use of vermin-compost. They are of course also trained to the utilization and the maintenance of the newly renovated hydraulic infrastructures.
The program integrates also the creation and training of women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) eligible to public micro-credit. The groups created within “Let’s Cultivate Development” project have launched income-generating activities related to agriculture (milch animals, goat rearing, kitchen gardening, flower gardening, etc.)
Finally, tree plantation is one of the main activities of the program to improve the green cover, reduce carbon emission and create additional income for the families through timber and green fodder for animals.
Rehabilitation of hydraulic infrastructures and agricultural training of SEVAI and GRAMIUM are a formidable life-changer for the populations of these rural villages who now have the opportunity to earn income from their farming activities. The villages were able to irrigate their crops on lands that had been dry for up to 6 years.
The overall goal of the program is to stop rural exodus. Thanks to the already positive results of the program, rural populations can exploit their lands and generate income from the sale of their products, and don’t have to migrate towards the cities. At the end, everyone retain their way of life and their dignity.