Nadukuppam Field & Training Centre
Alongside our young TDEF forest, Nadukuppam is also a centre for many of our sustainable rural development activities in Tamil Nadu.
Through our ongoing work with students, women’s groups, farmers and the local village communities, we identified a need for a place where people could meet, take part in workshops and observe demonstrations of organic agricultural principles and environmentally sustainable practices.
To this end, a two acre plot of land adjacent to the NEEC was purchased in 2005 through the Kaluveli Environment Education Trust, and it has become a central part of the community where organic programs and ideas can be developed and implemented.
To date, activities and structures in Nadukuppam include:
- A women’s centre where groups can meet, take part in workshops, plan village development and coordinate their income generating programs.
- A health drink preparation area where malnourished students receive a special highly nutritious drink supplement to encourage healthy minds and bodies.
- Four spirulina tanks producing spirulina to include in the health drink program. The spirulina units are also a case in point for income generation for women’s self help groups (SHGs) and their programs; and the SHG members are responsible for monitoring and preparing the spirulina.
- A demonstration vegetable garden displaying organic farming principles such as the use of effective micro-organisms (EM), panchakavya, vermi-compost, amrut pani and integrated pest management. The vegetables are used for the health drink program with additional produce being sold in the local market as an income generating activity for self help groups.
- A medicinal plant garden with information signboards to provide a demonstration of household herbal gardens and simple herbal health remedies. The plants are also to be used as raw materials for the future herbal medicine dispensary that is to be established at the women’s centre.
- An indigenous plant nursery that currently has 30000 seedlings of Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest varieties for use in plantation programs and nursery development. It also provides the basis for nursery training for women’s self help groups.
- Accommodation and offices where project staff can coordinate and monitor the various activities