WORKSHOP ON NUTRITIONAL AND THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES OF INDIGENOUS PADDY VARIETIES
Our centre has been conserving over 100 indigenous varieties of paddy both in our experimental farm and in farmers' fields in various parts of Tamil Nadu. During this period we have carried out extensive documentation and research on the agronomic properties of these varieties. However, with respect to the nutritional and therapeutic properties we have only carried out documentation and at present we have taken up a pilot study. This study is being supported by HIVOS and Oxfam - Novib joint knowledge programme on Agricultural Biodiversity, The Netherlands. The pilot study included - Documentation and analysis of modern technical literature, farmers knowledge as well as popular literature and folklore in Tamil (by CIKS), Survey of information in texts of Ayurveda and Pakasastra (traditional science of cooking) (in collaboration with FRLHT, Bengaluru), Survey of information in the texts of Siddha medicine (in collaboration with Centre for Traditional Medicine and Research, Chennai) and Laboratory studies on physico chemical properties and nutrient analysis and assessment of taste and Glycemic Index (in collaboration with Ethiraj College for Women, Chennai). On 21 st August, a one day workshop was organised in Chennai to share the results of the study and discuss the findings. It was attended by a group of about 40 persons including project partners, scientists from the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India, practitioners of Ayurveda and Siddha Systems of Medicine, representatives of farmers groups, civil society organisations involved in the conservation of agrobiodiversity and students and faculty from the Departments of Nutrition. The meeting deliberated upon the findings of the project and discussed the possible follow up activities that may be taken up.
PARTICIPATION IN ASIA PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP
A three day workshop on “Role of Family Farming in the 21 st Centuary: Achieving the Zero Hunger Challenges by 2025” was organized by M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation in collaboration with FAO and other International organizations at Chennai between 7 th - 10 th August 2014. More than 300 delegates from different countries participated in this workshop. Small Farmers' Agribusiness Consortium ( SFAC ) had organized an exhibition as part of the workshop. Valanadu Sustainable Agriculture Producer Company Limited in Nagapattinam participated in this exhibition.
ORIENTATION PROGRAMME ON CREDIT GUARANTEE FUND AT NABARD CHENNAI
On 25 th August, a State Level Meeting of the Producer Companies was organized by NABARD in Chennai. More than 30 Farmer Producer Organizations and Nationalized Banks participated in this meeting. Mrs. Poonkhothai, Executive Director of Small Farmers' Agribusiness Consortium ( SFAC ) , Tamil Nadu briefed the available financial support for FPOs in Tamil Nadu. Discussion on Credit Guarantee Fund and Equity Grant Fund was done in detail. Mr. Shyam Sundar, Manager, ACS, Chennai explained the statutory requirements for Producer Companies in detail. Our staff Subhashini Sridhar and R. Manikandan represented the CIKS group of Producer Companies in the meeting.
RECOGNITION FOR KADAMBAI FARMERS' CLUB AT STATE LEVEL
The Kadambai Farmers' Club in Thiruvannamalai district was established under the NABARD Farmers' Club Programme with the guidance and help of CIKS. Technical and regulatory trainings and support have been provided to this Farmers' Club by CIKS. As a credit to the efforts, this Farmers' Club was recognised as the second best Farmers' Club at the State level.
Updates of previous years >>
VISIT OF IDHAYAM GROUP OFFICIALS
As a follow up to the visit of Mr. Rajeev Vignesh, Managing Director of Idhayam group in August 2014 to Sirkazhi to strengthen the groundnut growers in Vedharanyam block, a field visit cum technical training session was organized on 30 th September. Dr. Muralidharan, Technical expert and Mr. Manohar, Quality Control Manager of Idhayam group served as resource person. A total of 27 farmers from 12 villages of Vedharanyam block participated and get trained on Pest and disease identification, Cultivation practice technology and Post harvest technology. Booklet on “Cultivation Aspects of Groundnut and Gingelly” was distributed to all the participants. Participants were also taken to visit the groundnut fields in Katharipulam village.
PARTICIPATION IN DST GROUP MONITORING WORKSHOP ON WOMEN TECHNOLOGY PARKS
The SEED Division of the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi had organized a two day workshop on “Women Technology Parks” at IIT, Kharagpur in West Bengal between 23 rd - 24 th September. On behalf of CIKS, Mrs. Subhashini Sridhar participated in the meeting and presented about the activities taken up under the project on “Women's Technology Park for Promoting Organic Agriculture” in five districts of Tamil Nadu.
QUARTERLY REVIEW MEETING OF THE DFID SUPPORTED PROJECT
On 10 th September, a meeting of the steering committee of the project on "Poverty Reduction through Sustainable Agriculture in Southern India" funded by DFID and co-funded by HIVOS was held at the CIKS TRC at Sukkankollai. The meeting was attended by the project team members - A.V. Balasubramanian, K. Vijayalakshmi, Subhashini Sridhar and K. Subramanian from CIKS, N. Raghunathan,
S. Balakrishnan and T. Johnson from Vrutti. Also present at the meeting were representatives from Marutham Sustainable Agriculture Producer Company Limited and Valanadu Sustainable Agriculture Producer Company Limited. The meeting reviewed the progress of the project and updates were obtain about the two producer companies.
ORIENTATION PROGRAMME ON CREDIT GUARANTEE FUND AT NABARD CHENNAI
On 25 th August, a State Level Meeting of the Producer Companies was organized by NABARD in Chennai. More than 30 Farmer Producer Organizations and Nationalized Banks participated in this meeting. Mrs. Poonkhothai, Executive Director of Small Farmers' Agribusiness Consortium ( SFAC ) , Tamil Nadu briefed about the available financial support for FPOs in Tamil Nadu. Discussion on Credit Guarantee Fund and Equity Grant Fund was done in detail. Mr. Shyam Sundar, Manager, ACS, Chennai explained the statutory requirements for Producer Companies in detail. Our staff Subhashini Sridhar and R. Manikandan represented the CIKS group of Producer Companies in the meeting.
DISCUSSIONS WITH THE REPRESENTATIVES OF TATA GROUP OF COMPANIES
At the invitation of the Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) Bengaluru, A.V.Balasubramanian attended a meeting that was organised on 18 th August at the FRLHT campus. The meeting was attended by Mr. R. Mukundan, Managing Director, TATA Chemicals and other representatives from the TATA Group of Companies. Presentations were made and discussions were held on possible areas where research could be taken up and products could be developed that are of immediate interest to the group companies. A.V. Balasubramanian made a presentation outlining possibilities based on Vrkshayurveda (Traditional Indian Plant Science) and work on Indigenous Paddy Varieties. It was agreed that follow up meetings would be held to take forward these possibilities.