Our project partners, the Tamil Nadu Labour Union, in India have been busy. The 151 marginal farmers who have joined the Agricultural Farming Co-operative have had their soil tested and been given guidance by the local Agriculture Research Department on the production of organic manure and natural pesticides. They are now growing vegetables using environmentally sustainable practices.
Only nine months into the economic development project and already 375 women have signed up for the Bamboo Basket Weaving Co-operative. A reliable market through the Palm Board of Tamil Nadu has been identified for bamboo products and orders placed each month for wine bottle covers, hand fans and shopping baskets. This provides a steady income for members.
Four micro-enterprises covering 40 workers are also underway for florists, manure preparers, vegetable sellers and rope bracelet makers. These workers are now earning between 150-225 rupees per day ($NZ3.5-5).