International Partners: Loise Bagein, Estelle Guillerm, Lukas Beuvry, Simon Leprince Diffo from ISTOM, College of International Agro-Development, France
Village: Pala, Kottayam District, Kerala
Project Duration: 1 month
Identified Challenge & Aim:
The project was taken up in an attempt to investigate alternative methods to meet the food consumption needs of rural communities. The project focused on growing and cultivating healthy and nutritious fruits, vegetables, and other crops through composting, vermicomposting, and other organic gardening practices.
Students spent a week with the Amritakripa Self Help Group (SHG) and learned about composting, vermicomposting, and organic gardening. After spending time with the SHG, the students shared their knowledge about vermicomposting, emphasizing the role and use of micro-organisms in organic farming. Students then demonstrated to farmers the permaculture techniques to work with them to improve their composting practices.
After discussing various methods with local farmers, students proposed a Banana Circle Permaculture design to help increase the amount of produce grown on a single piece of land. Here, a variety of crops can be nourished from a pit in the center of the circle where organic matter is decomposing, thus generating a greater supply of nutrition and moisture for growing crops.