KfW Soil Project
IRTC is the Programme Implementing Agency of KfW soil project funded by NABARD. The project is implemented in eight watersheds of Palakkad district, which include Pullundasseri, Chazhiattiri, Nagalasseri, Konnakkalkadavu, Poothankayam, Nadupathy- Muttuchira, Ancham mile and Palaniyarpalayam. The project duration is three years; from November 2019 to December 2022. The key objective of the project is to reduce the vulnerability of the farmers on the eve of climate change through various adaptation activities. The major components of the project are:
- Soil and water conservation and improvement of soil nutrition
- Encouraging climate change resilient farming through different strategies
- Renovation of water bodies in the selected watersheds
- Recharging of open wells and bore wells
- Soil testing and issuing soil health cards to farmers
- Nurturing Fruit forest and Miyawaki forest (Pachathuruthu)
- Composting of agricultural residue
- Climate resilient animal husbandry practices
- Micro-irrigation and mulching etc.
This project has strong convergent strategies with other departments and agencies.
Mapping Spatial Distribution of Quarries in Thrissur, Palakkad and Kozhikode Districts
The current study intends to develop mapping spatial distribution of quarries in Thrissur, Palakkad and Kozhikode districts of Kerala. The project is funded by the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DOECC). It will help to create a date base on the number of rock quarries and area of quarries in the study region. The study aims to develop strategies for environmental restoration/management plan for non-working/abandoned quarries.
Tribal Development Fund Project- Wadi
TDF Wadi is a sustainable livelihood project funded by NABARD. IRTC is implementing this project in Attapady and Nilambur tribal regions of Kerala. The project is implemented in eight hamlets of Pudhur Panchayath at Attapady block in Palakkad district and 17 hamlets of Chaliyar and Urgattiri of Nilambur region in Malappuram district. This is a five year programme implemented with the objectives of providing sustainable income to tribals through horticulture and agroforestry intervention. The beneficiaries of the project are the farmers having at least 50 cents of own land. Separate livelihood programmes are also implemented for the landless farmers. The project in Attappady is at the final stage of implementation, while it has recently started in Nilambur. The project implementation is totally done through the hamlet level committees of tribes and IRTC is facilitating the capability building of these committiees.
The Department of Biotechnology has established Biotech hubs across India under the programme “Biotech-Krishi Innovation Science Application Network (Biotech-KISAN)”, to find solutions for the problems of farmers and to aid them with appropriate technology. IRTC was selected as a biotech hub in Kerala. The present project of IRTC under the Biotech KISAN programme intends to design and install crop residue composting technology for farmers. This is an attempt to address the carbon emission and to reduce the nutrient loss due to crop residue burning. Till now, 125 crop residue biomass rapid composting homestead demonstration units were established. Accelerator biodigester and inoculum have been developed for this. Through this process agricultural waste is converted into compost. The experiments show that the normal composting days have been reduced to 35/40 days from 60/90 days.
Studies on Microbial Inoculum
In-house research on developing microbial consortia as inoculants for composting, organic waste management and biofertilizers are in progress. Investigations on cow dung-based fungal species to be used as composting accelerators and related research are done at the IRTC laboratory. Aspergillus species are identified among the seven isolates screened and its competitive inhibitory tests and hydrolytic activity on lignocellulosic matter are under examination. Currently, the production of inoculum is limited to the capacity of the microbiology laboratory and cater to the demands of composting plants run by IRTC/PIU.
Evolving Strategies for Developing Maths and Science Competency of Tribal Students at Secondary Level (Padanodhyanam)
This is a pilot project implemented in four hamlets of Idukki district located in Manakkad, Velliyamattom and Adimaly panchayats. The programme is shortly named Padanodhyanam by IRTC and is an intervention project supported by UNICEF. The main objective of this project is to enhance the science and mathematics learning skills of students studying in secondary classes from the tribal community. This has followed an approach of activity-based learning to make the classes effective. The classes are held at Learning centres established with the support of the community and schools. The project was implemented through trained volunteers selected from the tribal community itself. A baseline and end-line study was conducted among participants to understand the impact of the programme before and after the intervention. The first stage of the programme was implemented from July 2019 to February 2020.
3R Package for Ensuring Sustainable Livelihood of Fisherwomen in Kerala
This project is initiated by the Department of Fisheries, Government of Kerala to establish Joint Liability Groups (JLG) network among fisherwomen. Society for Assistance to Fisherwomen (SAF) is the implementing agency and IRTC is the consultant of the project. This project comes under the broad umbrella of Theeramythri programme and is piloted in Kollam district. IRTC has given managerial and field-level coordination support to 3R project for its implementation and to ensure sustainability. Those include handholding support in project proposal making, ensuring financial support from NABARD, and collaboration with the Kerala Gramin Bank. IRTC supported SAF in identifying 1000 beneficiaries, formation of 200 JLGs and their bank account creation.