In a pilot project, Prakruthi, Solidaridad SSEA and E.I.D. Parry are working with 1000 sugarcane farmers in Pattavaithalai area in Tamilnadu to promote sustainable cultivation practices.
To support the development of sustainability standards for certification of sugarcane production systems along with the Better Sugarcane Initiative (BSI).
To enable the certification of at least 1000 smallholder sugarcane farmers, who are suppliers of sugarcane to E.I.D. Parry.
After the pilot phase, to train at least 70,000 smallholder sugarcane farmers and workers in Better Sugarcane Farm Management Practices and principles of sustainable chain management.
Prakruthi conducted a Baseline survey of 440 farmers in the Pettavaithalai area to identify the existing gaps in the local sugarcane smallholder production practices, compared to the BSI standards. This survey also provided the first batch of 400 farmers who will be trained in better farm management practices. The selection of farmers has been done based on their willingness to adopt better farm management techniques. A large majority (85%) of the selected farmers has got less than 4 hectares of land size.
The capacity building trainings have started with respect to Best Farm Management practices in Viralimalai, Keeranur, Nachalur and Viralimalai East, reaching 600 smallholder sugarcane farmers. A toolkit for better farm management for sugarcane has been developed in the local language Tamil.
Almost 100 women farmers have been trained in the production of vermi-compost and the nursery of sugarcane by using the technology of single seed buds.
Environmental support activities include an awareness program on environmental issues like efficient water management and drip irrigation techniques. Encouragement of the use of organic nutrients (bio-fertilizers, compost, green manure) and training on pest-control monitoring and bio-control agents.