Farm Groups

Currently 24 farm groups are engaged in Idukki District, all with their own success stories. The main activities of these groups are mentioned below

Bee-Keeping
Taking advantage of the forest in the vicinity there is a tremendous possibility of collecting pure honey from the area. Here we encourage farmers to turn to bee-keeping, and attempts are made to make available financial support for this venture. As a result, around 50 members from among these groups have already started bee-keeping, and we have helped them to market their honey and related products, fetching them a good price. Farmers will in the near future get opportunities to sell their products in retail outlets to be operated by the Trust.

Vegetable Cultivation
Guided by the Community College, we collected several varieties of vegetable seeds and seedlings and distributed it among the farm groups. A large number of beneficiaries of this scheme have successfully produced enough to fulfil their own vegetable needs and sometimes even sell their excess in the markets. These organic products have a huge demand among families as well as in bazaars. More than 3,000 grow (poly) bags were arranged and filled with bio manure for use in the kitchen vegetable gardens of the farmers.

Promotion of Indigenous Cow Breeds
With a view to promoting organic farming we have been giving more importance to the rearing of indigenous cows. The dung of these breeds contains more micro organisms than that of other breeds. The milk of these cows is said to have more medicinal effects.

Value-added Products from Milk
Consequent on a one-day training conducted at the College, many such groups have begun to produce several value-added products from milk. While there is a plentiful availability of milk in the evening which, however, lacks marketing facilities at that hour, farmers can use such milk for the production of several value-added items such as ice cream, paneer, chocolate, cake, etc. The concerned governmental department provided the farmers requisite equipment like refrigerators, vessels, packing machines, etc. for this purpose.

Promotion of Eco Products
Farmers were trained to make eco products from bamboo like basket and mat. They produced kitchen vessels like rice cutters, spoons, etc. Women members of these farm groups are engaged in making edible items like nutmeg candy, vine, banana chips, etc. They were also urged to collect and plant different varieties of herbal saplings in their home surroundings. We plan to sell all these eco products in our outlet which is under construction.

Nursery Management
Following the models of vegetable, spices and fruits nursery of the Trust, many farmers have established similar nurseries in their premises as it enables them to earn additional income. These nurseries supply seedlings of nutmeg, cloves, curry leaves, cinnamon, guava, mangosteen, orange, acid lime, beans, cowpea pods, brinjal, bhindi, etc.

Preventing attacks of wild animals
In order to protect agricultural plants and products from attack by wild animals we have promoted the use of eco-friendly traps and other preventive measures. They include mainly Ecodon which is made up of herbal extracts and functions like a natural fencing.