A migrant farmer then, a company director today – the success story of an accomplished tribal woman
This story is about the tribal women farmers from Aalaththoor Village, Kollimalai. Aalaththoor is well known for millets cultivation among the tribal villages in Kollimalai. Aalaththoor Tribal farmers cultivate wide varieties of millets through rain fed irrigation and women had been at the forefront.
Millet season in Kollimalai extend from July to January. Post the millet harvest, farmers left without work, migrated to different districts and neighbouring states in pursuit of work. This migratory trend affected their lives and their childrens’ education. So to break this cycle of migration tribal farmers are empowered through ‘Vaadi – Small farm’ scheme. Vaadi scheme enables round the clock integrated cultivation method to enable sustainable income.
Vennila has been at the forefront in running the women millets producers group in Aalaththoor. Kollimalai producers company was formed by integrating producers groups across villages in Kollimalai. They cultivate, process and market various products apart from millets. Vennila is one of the directors of the company. Vennila’s journey from being a migrant farmer to a company director is an illustrious example of success through right and targeted interventions.
Even though their major produce is millet, they look for more business opportunities by diversifying their value addition. They look for continuous supply to sustain a stable market. In the absence of a secure concrete space to dry their produces farmers dry them in the roads by having their produces run-over by passing vehicles. They also need a drying shed with a concrete base to dry their produces nearby their farm itself.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.