TEDE Trust has a store of organic products in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Support for small farmers in India
The TEDE Trust, Training Education Development Extention Trust, is working to improve farmers’ living conditions in India’s southernmost state of Tamil Nadu. By encouraging farmers to grow organically, it is also possible to improve the conditions of families and give people an opportunity to influence their lives.
Small-scale farmers in the Indian countryside are becoming increasingly difficult to survive on their farms. This is mainly due to the use of large quantities of artificial fertilizers and chemical pesticides, which is both expensive and dangerous to health. TEDE Trust’s work is to support organic farming at the grassroots level. They want to strengthen small farmers by creating the conditions for living on their farm and thus contributing to a vibrant and ecologically sustainable countryside.
The organization works with advice to growers, but also coordinates the marketing of organically grown products. TEDE Trust is part of a broad Indian network linking organic growers with interested consumers. It reduces the number of middlemen and gives the eco-breeders the greatest possible profit and thus the opportunity to support themselves. The number of markets and smaller outlets around Tamil Nadu is now growing steadily and the largest Sunday market in Chennai is today both well-known and well-visited.
The center of TEDE Trust’s operations is an organic farm outside Kumbakonam in central Tamil Nadu. The farm is a role model and is used for training but also for various experiments, cultivation experiments and as a source of income for the organization. Here, among other things, there is a valuable seed bank where native seeds and seeds are produced and distributed to interested organic growers. TEDE Trust also helps to start associations for small savers, especially women, in the villages. The savings give many families the opportunity to plan in the longer term and to make investments in their agriculture. The villagers also receive education in health care and herbal medicine and they are encouraged to grow their own kitchen plants and herbs. In addition to all this, the organization also runs an elementary school for children between the ages of 6 and 15.
For many years, TEDE Trust has been driving the development of organic rural development in India. The leader of the organization, Mr. Ranganathan, is a leading figure for organic farming in Southern India. He is also chairman of the Organic Farmers Association in the state.