Tamil Nadu, India
DefinitionDevising project idea, defining the aim and main components
DesignSpecifying details such as time-frame, budget, target indicators, project partners and relevant steps to reach the project objectives
FinancingSearching and securing funding and investment, setting up relevant financing partnerships, and discussing payment modalities
ImplementationExecution of feasibility studies, context analysis, plot design, planting and setting up facilities and starting with potential capacity-building
MaintenanceOperational phase (monitoring and evaluation, impact assessments and adjustments, execution of educational programmes and long-term capacity building)
Scaling UpScaling up phase is when the project it has already shown success by obtaining impact as well as economic results and it's ready to become replicable.
The AHIMSA association which has worked tirelessly over the past three decades to support communities in Tamil Nadu. reNature will support AHIMSA to develop two Model Farms that will serve as a training hub for the local farmers. One 2.7 ha plot is located next to the AHIMSA office in Thiruchirapalli district, and the other 5 ha plot is located at Thiru Valagum Farm in Cuddalore district. Both plots will focus on rice and groundnuts as commercial crops, alongside a Food Forest with fruits, vegetables, and herbals.
The two Model Farms will directly involve 260 local farmers. Once the project has scaled it will impact over 5,000 community members.
The local community is facing loss of biodiversity and entrenched poverty, which must be challenged with environmental and social-economic action. Traditional farming systems will be transformed to create sustainable rural livelihoods. Improved local organic micro-climates with trees, crops and farm animals, will support a balanced climate whilst direct and affordable food supplies from farm to consumer will become more accessible. The urban areas close to the Food Forest project will have access to more nutritious food supplies.
Promoting ‘healthy farming’
The goal is to mitigate rural poverty by promoting sustainable livelihood and food security with farmers through regenerative agriculture. During the project, farmers groups will be integrated into the approved scheme. The renewed food chain will be based on a coherent landscape environment and an equitable business model.
The understanding and implementation of healthy farming and an equitable food value chain will lead to a better diet and security in food supply in the rural and urban areas. Following the implementation of the initial two Model Farms, the project will scale this to a five-year project to 960 hectares of land, reaching around 1,920 farmers and landowners. In the longer term project, each farmer will be assisted to develop a one acre Food Forest and organic paddy and groundnut cultivation on their land.
Scaling up to reach hundreds of farmers
The two Model Farms will involve many hundreds of farmers as the project scales. The project staff will offer the know-how for motivation, respond to the needs of the farmers and unite them on an equal basis. The project will be linked to various agriculture related departments, local NGOs, schools, women and farmers self help groups. Two locations, AHIMSA and Thiru Valagum Farm, both with a Model Farm with slightly different climatic differences, give rise to reach diverse farmers groups. At present the Indian government supports organic farming, so the time is right to catalyse sustainable practices.
Local farmers are experiencing economic pressure where cultivation practices are based on realising a maximum yield. Additionally, large quantities of mainstream food are not beneficial for the environment and people. Better food quality will result in cost reduction through improved health. These quality foods need to be cared for throughout the food chain. An equitable agricultural economy between producers, processors, traders and consumers will support farmers to cultivate nutritional products.