- Support tribal families for enhancing their pepper and ginger production and productivity by establishing local production units of bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers for containing the pest and diseases affecting pepper and ginger and by ensuring the enhanced local production and supply of quality planting materials of pepper, ginger and plants used in herbal pesticide preparation through decentralized nurseries;
- Improve the income of tribal families by establishing value addition units of pepper and ginger for enhancing the income base of tribal farm families with emphasized focus on tribal women
- Generate public awareness on sustainable farming practices for ensuring the production of quality agriculture produces
Criteria for Village Selection
The sites of interventions were selected based on several factors of which some of the primary attributes were:
- Area under cultivation of pepper and ginger
- Tribal domination
- Existing interventions of institutions (Govt. and other organizations)
- Support from the Grama Panchayaths
- Access to the village
- Above all interest among the people of the region
According to the census 2011, the district has a total population of 8.17 lakhs of which 18.5% are sched-uled tribes, and the district ranks top in the total population of tribes in the state. Majority of these tribal people are either landless or survive with a little land possessions on their own. The specialty of land utilization of tribes is that they cultivate many crops of which majority of them are underutilized or less known to the general public. Rice is one of the important crops in the food basket of tribes. Cultivation of Spice crops by tribes could be considered as a strategy to generate income for economical survival. It is one of the major sources of income for them. Unlike the general public in the district who were largely migrated from the plains who introduced improved crop varieties and chemical inputs in agriculture, tribes depend on their own traditional crop varieties and sustainable farming practices.
The details of the tribal population in the five selected intervention sites are given in table:1. From the table it is clear that Noolpuzha Grama Panchayath (53.06%) is having highest tribal population followed by Pozhuthana (34.45%), Kottathara (28.62%), Kaniyambetta (19.38%) and Nenmeni (17.17%). In certain villages, Kerala Govt. has undertaken special programmes to rehabilitate tribes by giving them the right to possess land under KSA Act 1975/ KST Bill, 1996. Sugandhagiri region of the district is one of such kind of a place where each of the tribal family is bestowed with an average of 5 acres of land.