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In Tamil Nadu, 92 families are reasserting their fundamental rights through agricultural expertise, with a two-year programme (2011-13) run by the Intercultural Network for Development and Peace (INDP), an NGO promoting self-sufficiency through traditional skills and environmental protection.
The INDP has selected two groups for a two-year organic agriculture project supported by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès. In Erode district, INDP has identified 42 families at risk of being forced to sell their land to large-scale farmers to service debts incurred for the purchase of agricultural supplies. Maintaining their financial independence is a key issue for these families.
A parallel project in Kanchinpuram district has created a medicinal garden, supported by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès since 2008, encouraging local growers to cultivate land previously left fallow. Fifty families have received training from the INDP in the use of organic fertilisers and pesticides.
Today, families in Kanchipuram are trained to prepare fallow land for cultivation, develop a medicinal herb nursery, and grow fruit and vegetables using sustainable, organic techniques. In Erode, farmers attend a general training programme followed by courses on nursery, composting and horticultural skills.
Both schemes deliver training in situ, highlighting natural farming techniques and traditional skills. The resulting produce is sold at local markets, delivering financial independence for the families involved, combatting poverty and promoting enhanced social integration.