Ms Rinzi Pem, Assistant Director, Social Window, SAARC Development Fund (SDF), Ms Kinley Zam, PO, Social Window, SDF, and Mr Dhurba Regmi, AD M& E, SDF, Bhutan, visited the MSSRF field sites at Kuttanad (Kerala) and Kannivadi (Tamil Nadu) on March 2 and 3, 2023. The SDF team reviewed the activities of the project – Livelihood Enhancement of the Small Farmers in the SAARC Region through Small Scale Agro-business Focusing on Value Chain Development*.
They visited the value addition centre in Kuttanad on March 2nd to observe the processing activities of virgin coconut oil and interacted with the farmers about the process involved in the production of other value-added products like cooking oil, coconut cake and powder and building a sustainable production, marketing and management system of the unit. The farmer’s group explained the procurement, processing and marketing framework planned by them. The SDF team provided feedback to the farmer’s group on developing a detailed business plan with the costs as well as marketing strategies.
On March 3rd, at the Kannivadi site in Tamil Nadu, the SDF team inaugurated the Moringa Processing Unit that was integrated with Reddiarchatram Sustainable Agriculture Producer Company Limited and released the training manual. About 50 men and women moringa farmers had received training, and shared their experiences and plans. The team organised a photo exhibition showcasing all the activities including capacity building, exposure visits, and good agricultural production practices that were completed on the site. The SDF representatives discussed business plan-based production and marketing with MSSRF and the farmers.
*Mr Jibin Thomas from MSSRF met Shri. P Prasad, Kerala’s Minister of Agriculture, on March 7th and described the SDF-supported project activities in detail. He also discussed the possibilities of convergence with government departments to ensure its sustainability and demonstrate it as a pilot for other farmers and upscaling.