Revival of millets, traditional rice varieties & vegetables
Different types of millets have been cultivated in India for thousands of years. These crops are drought tolerant, climate smart, and very rich in nutrients. But the commercialization of rice in the last decades have made many farmers shift into irrigated rice cultivation, and traditional crops have been left behind.
Climate changes are being noticed all over the world, where some areas are experiencing more rain, and other areas less precipitation. Some parts of Tamil Nadu, South India, are especially suffering of monsoon failures, and every year the agriculture suffers more due to the lack of water. As the ground water is depleting, irrigation becomes impossible. Many farmers take loans to deepen their wells, but this is not a sustainable solution, since the ground water level continues to sink, and the small scale farmers typically end up with heavy economical burdens.
The promotion of millets and other traditional crops is an important part of Kudumbam´s work. While conventional farming receives different subsides from the state, organic farming gets much less support. The government sets a support price for rice, but this is not the case for traditional crops. Rice is also distributed for free to many families through the Public Distribution System, where families below the poverty line in Tamil Nadu receive 20 kg of rice every month. The sad part of this is that the white rice has a low nutrient content, and it is cultivated with a lot of pesticides harmful to the environment.
Millets used to be a staple food in South India, but it is nowadays hard to find in the market. This is worrying since the cultivation of millets requires much less water than rice, and the nutrient content is much higher. Millet based farming provides multiple securities regarding food, fodder, health, nutrition, livelihood and ecology. Encouraging cultivation and consumption of millets leads to a sustainable agricultural system better adapted to a changing climate, provides healthy and nutritious food alternatives and ensures food sovereignty. Our activities are addressed to farmers and youth as well as to policy makers and officials.
no: 113/118 Sundarraj Nagar
Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: (+91) 0431-2331879
Monday to saturday - 10 AM to 5:30 PM
Sunday - Closed
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