WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
Most smallholder farmers in the Madanapalle region of Andhra Pradesh in Southern India, an area particularly affected by drought and adverse effects of global climate change, grow mainly tomatoes as a cash-crop. They are heavily dependent on agro-chemical companies and inauspiciously affected by market price fluctuations ruining their complete income in many years. Most youth are migrating to cities leading to a grave lack of available workforce, a circumstance aggravating the problem. Hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers in India - caught in debt following unsustainable agricultural practices and facing climate change related problems as well as unstable market prices - committed suicide during the last years.
HOW DOES IT RELATE TO CLIMATE CHANGE?
Smallholder farmers in the project area report advancing drought as the monsoon rains oftentimes fail to appear. The rhythmicity and intensity of rainfalls is changing as well and farmers can no longer rely on the continuity of precipitation events. According to a study of the Indian environmental ministry, the mean temperature in Andhra Pradesh will increase by 2.5 degrees until 2080 in comparison to 2012 (MoEF 2012. State action Plan On Climate Change for Andhra Pradesh). As a result of extensive use of chemicals and climate change, soil erosion and degradation are widely observed. As a result, the vulnerability of crops to pests and diseases increases and yields decline (SHIVA 2016. The violence of the green revolution).
HOW DO WE ADDRESS IT?
In the context of the aftermath of the so-called Green Revolution, climate change, scarcity of workforce and an unstable market, Toranam’s objective is to set up a demonstration farm for sustainable and resilient Agroforestry. The farm will also host a centre for environmental education, act as a business hub for processing and marketing of produce and a platform to exchange knowledge, tools and planting materials. To demonstrate what is hoped to be a model for sustainable development, pilot plots with organic agroforestry, that is well-adapted to local socio-ecological conditions and climatic mutability, are established on farmer’s lands. From these nuclei, a farmer’s cooperative is set to be established with purchase guarantees from Toranam for all produce from the newly established organic Agroforestry.
WHO WILL BENEFIT?
The main groups profiting from TORANAM are smallholder farmers, students and consumers longing for healthy produce from regional and tracable cultivation. Smallholder farmers can achieve a better, diversified and more stable income and can emancipate themselves from the choke-hold of large agrochemical companies. Schools and Students benefit from the Environmental Education Center where soft skills and green business ideas can be developed.
WHAT DO WE NEED MONEY FOR
- materials for workshops (food for participants, sationary)