is a dialect of the word “Thoranam”, which are hanging decorations in Telugu – the local language of Madanapalle where our project is based. The “Toranam” are originally made of leaves and often presented in festive occasions. Taking that spirit, we hope to deliver the message of trees’ importance in human’s life, and that a sustainable use and management of trees can bring us resilience, wealth and happiness.
The project site is called "Mandaram Resource Centre" (MRC) and is located outside Madanapalle
city, close to Chinnatippasudram (C.T.M.) village at 13°38'58.0" North latitude and 78°33'15.3" East
longitude in the western part of Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh, South India.
The MRC covers over five acres where we establish a demonstration centre for alternative agriculture and sustainability practices, as well as other activities. We work with local people and farmers, address local sustainability issues with solutions tailored to local conditions.
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Madanapalle is an important centre for agricultural products and famous for tomatoes, mangos, groundnuts and silk. Unfortunately, many farmers in the area suffer from different causes. In Andhra Pradesh state, facing a hopeless situation with the burden of debt, many small-scale farmers have suicided, leaving their families a dull future.
Vulnerability to climate change
Climate change has a negative impact on this arid area with increasingly absent rainfalls. Extreme heat, dry soil and water shortage reduce crop productivity and demand more resources. We propose agroforestry as a potential climate change adaptation solution.
We are committed to help farmers and the local community achieve
climate resilient agriculture and
by bringing them
the right tools and support.
At our project site - the Madaram Resource Center (MRC), we are setting up a demonstration center where we grow local species on diverse organic agroforestry plots. The successful implementation of these pilot plots will encourage more local farmers to follow this method. We also advocate for other sustainable ways of using resources, such as rainwater harvesting, biogas, composting toilets, and more.
ENGAGEMENT WITH FARMERS
We assist farmers in the transition process from conventional to agroforestry farming. We provide consultation, seeds and samplings, together with necessary tools. Creating a community of practice where people share their knowledge and experience is also among our goals.
Awareness comes before actions, and awareness is gained by education. In order to help local community understand the causes of their current difficulties and realize how they can do differently, we organize workshops on organic farming and environmental problems for numerous target groups.
GREEN BUSINESS ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Most farmers sell the same primary agriculture commodities at local or regional market, which make they more dependent on the market and vulnerable to price drop. Therefore, we try to set up a processing unit at our site, where more value can be added to the primary products. A model of green entrepreneurship will be demonstrated on site with Eco-hut, organic farm shop and more coming ideas.
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OUR ACTION PLANS
As agriculture is the main economic activity in Madanapalle which is strongly impacted by global climate change, agroforestry is an important opportunity for improvement. The target of this approach is to determine which trees and crops are best suited for cultivation in the area, considering the local circumstances as well as the most appropriate methods and timing.
However sustainable development cannot be guaranteed by compiling the best solutions and practices alone. It must be accepted and held up by the locals, as they are the ones to implement the changes in the region through long-term management. This is the approach of environmental education and the close collaboration with local small-scale farmers.
Moreover, increasing the product value by alternative processing and marketing methods can add more market power to our farmers' agriculture commodities. Besides agroforestry, we also promote other sustainability practices such as waste management, green energy and more.
You can read more about our 4 key pillars:
Engagement with Farmers
Green Business Entrepreneurship
The local community tends to follow the market in terms of crop selection and production methods. However, Toranam project is bringing innovative approach which is self-sustaining and empowers the farmers to follow indigenous practices.
- Sai Bhargav, Project Coordinator in Madanapalle
AIMS AND MISSION
Create a platform for individuals, students and farmers to learn and exchange experiences about sustainable agriculture and environmental protection.
Engage with small scale farmers and provide climate resilient methodologies as well as a stable market
Provide free environmental education for students and farmers
Climate change mitigation and adaptation
Encourage green business start-ups and make agriculture more attractive to young people