Organic Castor & Neem oils
Produced in a region known as the Kutch. An arid and almost treeless landscape, with no irrigation and unreliable rains, it is difficult to eke a living from the land. But the castor plant is very hardy, and one of the few crops that can be cultivated here.
Organic farming in this area can be a challenge as the condition of the soil is very dependant of the rains, which are unpredictable. In this region there are large animal shelters and in difficult draught like years, usually male animals are send to these shelter homes as there is no grazing for them. Most of the shelter homes managed by Charitable Organisations which depend on funding from local societies. These shelters produce good amount of animal manure every year. The project took the initiative to purchase animal manure from animal shelter home and distribute to their farmers at no cost.
By procuring animal manure they are able to support local animal shelter homes at one end and farmers benefited by having input their soil which improves fertility and boosts the crop with no need for chemical fertilisers.
Reliable electricity supply is also an issue in the region, so the project has helped to invest in Solar power units for the farms, to help with irrigation and powering equipment on the farm.
As a cash crop castor is vital to the welfare of small family shareholders in the Kutch. The co-operative we are now supporting with our purchases of Castor oil is made up from over 800 families.
In this region of India the majority of farming communities live in scattered villages. These areas have high dropout ratio in schools. The Government is trying to attract village students by providing free education for Primary Standard, but children do not show a high interest towards school and parents don’t care much about education of their children as they need the help on the farms.
Keeping children’s interest towards school as part of this project Education Kits are distributed along with School uniforms to the children of villages. This not only helps to encourage the children to attend school, but also provides awareness to their parents. In such meetings the importance of education is explained to their parents.