Cauvery Calling Newsletter Oct - Dec 2022
We piloted sapling production and distribution nurseries with a handful of farmers which were a runaway success – a glorious testament to what intention, collaboration, and action can achieve.
In this last quarter of the calendar year, the team focused on consolidating the progress made over the year with farmer outreach and sapling distribution.
Our ground team also shared some heartwarming stories of community support and engagement. In the following pages, you can read more about the incredible power of touching another life in support of their wellbeing.
You will also find some uplifting facts and figures that will tell you why Cauvery Calling is not only a much needed mission but a much celebrated one too!
By December 2022
- Enabled the plantation of 84 million trees since 1998
- Helped 168,000 farmers transition to tree-based agriculture
In the year 2022
- 1.1 million saplings planted on 659 farms through 6 major plantation drives in Tamil Nadu since July 2022
- 3800+ farmers went through 5 mega training programs on tree-based agriculture
- 11,762 farmer queries addressed on our farmer helpline number - 8000980009
- 152 WhatsApp groups are nurturing 22,400 farmers on a daily basis
- 63 million people were reached through our social media channels
- Development of Isha Nursery in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu is one of the biggest single-site nurseries in the world in terms of the annual production capacity (8.5 million seedlings) and the variety of species produced (54 species).
With support from Cauvery Calling, farmers in the Cauvery river basin are silently bringing about an economic and ecological revolution.
Sapling Production Nursery: We launched an exciting pilot of farmer-led nurseries with 10 enthusiastic farmers. We trained and hand-held them to produce high-quality organic saplings and entered into a legal buy-back agreement with them as a risk-mitigation measure and to encourage more farmers to embrace the model. It paid off big time!
Here is what one of the participants in the pilot had to say about this unique venture:
Sapling Distribution Nursery: At the end of September 2022, we launched 8 sapling distribution nurseries. In this model, farmers procure saplings from Cauvery Calling and distribute them to other farmers. As with the production nurseries, these distribution nurseries too have greatly expanded Cauvery Calling’s sapling distribution, accelerating our target of 1 crore saplings this year.
One of the farmers who collaborated with us in distributing saplings from his farm shares his experience:
Every month of the planting season in 2022, the Cauvery Calling Tamil Nadu field team conducted training sessions in tree-based farming. Each of these mega sessions were attended by more than 1000 farmers. Several farmers shared their experience of these sessions.
During the lockdown in 2020, Narayanan from Cheranmadevi town in Tirunelveli district started watching YouTube videos of Cauvery Calling’s success stories of tree-based farming. So inspired was he by the videos that he decided to become a farmer. “I was earlier in the corporate sector,” he says. He attended one of the Cauvery Calling sessions on tree-based farming and has not looked back since. “I have received every kind of information and support I need from Cauvery Calling to make tree-based farming a lucrative proposition,” he says, adding that this is a “truly useful program.” “I am happy it is happening very close to us, within a few kilometers of where we live. We thank Sadhguru and Cauvery Calling for changing the course of our lives,” he concludes with gratitude.
“Vanakkam! My name is Karthikesan. I am from Chennai. I have land in Kumbakkonam and Vellore. I regularly attend all programs conducted by Cauvery Calling for farmers. The session with Ramasamy Naidu about growing Manavari (rainfed) crops was very useful. It connected farmers with scientists and experts in agriculture. Thank you for the training.”
Cauvery Calling’s Tamil Nadu team on a roll
In three months, the Cauvery Calling field team in Tamil Nadu visited the lands of 5,737 farmers who had sought technical support and guidance for sapling plantation. The team visited 85 FPOs to promote tree-based agriculture and conducted 67 meetings across Tamil Nadu to spread awareness about it. The team regularly joins Block Development Officers to educate farmers. Volunteers also receive support from officials in organizing programs for farmers. There were 228 such instances when the team worked closely with government bodies to promote the economically and ecologically beneficial tree-based farming model.
Cauvery Calling’s Karnataka team reaches hundreds of farmers in Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) event
Cauvery Calling was part of the annual Krishi Mela at Vishweshwaraiah Canal (VC) Farm in Mandya Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Institute which was a 2-day event for farmers from 2–3 December. Well known in the region as an interface for facilitating farmer interactions with all stakeholders in the farming ecosystem, this edition of Krishi Mela saw participation of farmers from Mysuru, Ramanagara, Mandya, Tumkur and other nearby districts. Around 60,000 farmers attended the event.
Karnataka Nadi Veeras spoke about tree-based farming practices to hundreds of farmers who visited the Cauvery Calling stall at the event. Inspired by the movement and its objectives, several farmers picked up saplings from the forest department nurseries in the nearby taluks of Mandya, a district in the Cauvery river basin. Many farmers engaged in absorbing discussions with the Nadi Veeras about the details of the tree-based farming model. They expressed their desire to take it up in the upcoming planting season. There were several farmers who were aware of the benefits of the model and were happy to know that they could implement it on their farmlands through structured on-ground support from the Cauvery Calling team.
Why silver oak is not recommended
Traditionally, regional farmers have always understood the importance of tree-based farming. They have an intrinsic understanding of what combinations of intercropping work best financially and ecologically. In this video, farmers share their views on the importance of nurturing native tree species on farm lands and their impact on soil health, water tables, nutrition and the farm economy.
Here’s a heartwarming story from the ground!
As a quiet economic and ecological transformation unfolds in the Cauvery river basin, the communities are responding to our team on ground with warmth and using every opportunity to demonstrate their appreciation for Cauvery Calling. Read on…
In Sakleshpura, Naren’s car was stuck in the slush in a remote farm off the main road. He tried unsuccessfully to extricate it for more than two hours and finally called a fellow-volunteer for support. To his astonishment, six local community members turned up in the pouring rain and wholeheartedly offered to help. “They had mud piling all over them during this process but they were still consistent with their efforts,” recalled Naren, deeply touched by their selfless act. The car was finally freed. Naren was overwhelmed with gratitude but there was more. A couple of them volunteered to clean up the car! Those two people shared that they were inspired to see the efforts put in by the Cauvery Calling team for the wellbeing of the farmers and also the conduct of the volunteers and hence wanted to help. Naren was soaked in the pouring rain…and an unconditional shower of love and support.
A long-term project of this scale and size cannot be accomplished without the consistent support of compassionate donors like you!