On 16 November 2018, Cyclone Gaja which ravaged parts of the Tamil Nadu coast also wreaked havoc at Kolunji at Odugampatti village in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu.
“Kolunji” is a 35-acre model ecological farm operated by the NGO Kudumbam. It was established in the late-1980s by late Dr G Nammalwar along with late A Periyanayagasamy and Mr Oswald Quintal. Over three decades, 120 different kinds of economically valuable and ecologically sound trees were planted at the farm, which also demonstrated for local farmers the importance of tree cultivation, community forestry and small-scale fisheries in dry and semi-arid areas. . By involving the local community, efforts were made to improve soil fertility and water conservation and to shift to horticulture intercropped with minor millets. Income-generating units like livestock, bio inputs, vegetable cultivation, and tree and herbal nurseries were also established. The farm thus served as a model for rain-fed resource poor farmers of the region and a learning centre for local farmers and NGOs. It has contributed to changing the of more than 50000 farmers towards ecological agriculture practices and training more than 15000 NGO field workers who are now employed as self-employed cultivators or farm managers and eco farm designers in several farms in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Puducherry, and Orissa. At present, close to 750 farmers groups are active members of Kudumbam’s ecological farming network in South India.
Why Kolunji needs your help?
The cancellation of scheduled training programs and the destruction of crops and trees will continue to affect the farm’s revenue for at least another year. Rebuilding and restoration efforts are likely to take 2-3 years. Kudumbam’s plan was to reach out to 20,000 marginal and small farmers by 2025 to promote ecological farming. By reconstructing the Kolunji farm, ongoing training and farmer support activities in dry and semi-arid areas can be resumed with greater vigour. However, to continue our work within the community and to rebuild the ecological farm for the benefit of small and marginal farmers, we urgently need your help.
The estimated cost of clearing fallen trees, repairing buildings, restoring electricity, repairing water supply lines, strengthening bunds and canals, reviving the nursery, repairing fences, and restarting training and community and farmers' outreach programs and demonstration sessions is Rs 80,00,000 (about US$ 115,000). Kudumbam is hoping to raise about Rs 1,00,00,000 (about US$ 140,000) from existing sources. This still leaves a huge gap of Rs 40,00,000 (about US$ 56,000). We believe that with your help we can bridge this gap. To support us as we get back on our feet and continue to establish sustainable alternatives for our rural and farming communities, we urge you to contribute generously.
Donate to Kudumbam and join “cause awareness” education programs. Beyond its own work and focus, Kudumbam will raise awareness on ecological farming by providing our donors regular updates and valuable information on ecological farming. Kudumbam’s current donors and its own reserves will cover operating costs, so you can contribute with the knowledge that your entire gift will help reconstruct the ecological farm and support training for poor and marginal farmers
Kudumbam is registered as a Society under Tamil Nadu Society’s Act. Kudumbam is also registered with the Ministry of Home Affairs for receiving contributions from abroad.
Donors contributing Rs 10,000 (or US$ 200) or more will have a tree planted in their name in Kolunji farm.
By supporting “Build Back Better” campaign, you can help Kudumbam reconstruct its demonstration farm and jump start its community and farmers outreach programs to be better than before.
- A donation of Rs 10,000 (or its equivalent in US dollars) will help replant a tree (rare species).
- A donation of Rs 25,000 (or its equivalent in US dollars) will help replant a group of trees (rare species) and provide training to communities and farmers in two villages.
- A donation of Rs 50,000 (or its equivalent in US dollars) will help replant a group of trees and provide training and extension support services to communities and farmers in five villages (cluster).
- A donation of Rs 100,000 (or its equivalent in US dollars) will help retrofit the medicinal nursery and provide training and extension support services to farmers in 10 villages (cluster).
Mr. Oswald Quintal: email@example.com
Mr Suresh Kanna: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit Kudumbam's website: www.kudumbamecofarm.in