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ROSE has developed a project in consultation with landless women agricultural laborers in 30 villages for their social and economic empowerment. (Read more)


Organic Farming

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ROSE has achieved conservation of rare and nutritious minor millets along with reviving the farming system of the same varieties, with the involvement of hundreds of dry land farmers mainly women farmers. ROSE has also succeeded in conserving many endangered rare indigenous rice varieties having medicinal properties, drought tolerant, pest resistant, and has the potentials of good yield both for community and cattle. Farmers all over Tamil Nadu and from neighboring states are in contact with ROSE in terms of sharing knowledge, exchange and seeds. Now ROSE is involved in an action research with the ample support of National Agriculture Bank for Rural Development (NABARD), Pudukkottai District unit.

The Farm Crisis

Fiery debates at global level, frequent summits, unresolved conflicts, on-going research and warnings, all pertaining to Food Security Issue underpinned with global warming! Technocrats are breaking their heads in finding out technologies, national governments are at war foots, corporates are bracing up to make profit using this crisis, NGOs raising their voices, farmers committing suicide. Amidst this chaos, there are here and there some silver linings. One such is in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu. A small NGO has succeeded with a proven technique to fight food insecurity in the context of climate vagaries.

Taking little support from SVARAJ, a national level technical resource support NGO based in Bengaluru, ROSE has been seriously involved in promoting biodiversity dry land farming in the district among marginal farmers, focusing on only minor millets. The attempt successfully proved that poor farmers can raise good crop without any loss, without any chemical inputs and with available minimum monsoon showers. It is noteworthy that to produce one kilogram of minor millet the water required is only 300 liters whereas to produce one kilogram of rice requires nearly 4,500 liters. And we all know that except carbohydrate, there is nothing nutritious in the rice that we eat as everything is polished off! That is why we find Tamil Nadu is emerging as Diabetics Capital!

After its successful attempt in reviving nutritious minor millets farming system and conserving the valuable disappearing minor millet seeds such as Kambu, Varagu, Kudhirai Vali, Thinai and Samai, ROSE started an action research project in conserving rare medicinal paddy (rice) seeds.

These paddy varieties are indigenous and not developed in laboratories. Most of the seed varieties are disappearing. ROSE strongly believes that only these seed varieties could help our farmers to cope up with the climate change impact. When the organization sought for support for the furtherance of this project the district unit of NABARD came forward to help it.

The names of seeds which are known for their medicinal values, and other potential qualities of drought resistant and pest tolerant are:

  • Poongar
  • Maapillai Samba
  • Karudan Samba
  • ivappu Kavuni
  • Karruppu Kavuni
  • Kudavazhai
  • Karunguruvai
  • Karuthakar
  • Chandikar
  • Thooya Malli
  • Sembuli Samba
  • Illuppaipoo Samba
  • Samba Mosanam and
  • Milagi.

The neighborhood farmers who were doing modern farming using all chemical fertilizers and dangerous pesticides just ridiculed this effort pointing out that without chemical no farming can be done these days that too in the critical climate conditions.

At last the result was so successful. Without using any single chemical fertilizer and pesticides the yield is 40% more than the chemical based paddy system. This has been achieved with very minimum irrigation water minimizing the water use almost to 60%. Salient features of the success:

  • Total quintals by average in an acre 34
  • The length of plant 6.2 feet.
  • Good healthy grains for community
  • Good fodder for the cattle