KADS - The Kerala Agricultural Development Society






February 2018
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Awakening of a Greener Spirit.

KADS is a voluntary organization of farmers registered in 2001 under the Charitable Society Act, 1955 of Kerala. The mission of KADS is securing fair price to farm produces by avoiding middlemen, promotion of quality organic produce production, and assistance in sustainable management of natural resources through awareness campaign, promotion and practicing of eco-friendly agriculture. It currently has membership of 1242.

KADS facilitates marketing through 'farmer's open market' and organic agriculture through assisting in organic certification in collaboration with INDOCERT, which is a certification agency. About 1000 farmers formed into 54 groups are: in C1, C2 and C3 stages of organic certification in about 1800 ha. Production and marketing are promoted on spices like nutmeg, cardamom, pepper, cloves, vanilla, 144 ginger, other spices and condiments, and other crops like cocoa, vegetables, tapioca and other tubers, coconut, arecanut, banana, rubber, coffee ornamental and medicinal plants, planting materials, seeds and seedlings, and dairy products, meat of goat rabbit and poultry, eggs, etc. and inputs like vermicompost, bio-pesticides and value added products. KADS with farmers' participation also facilitates collection, transporting and storage of various produces. It also encourages women's participation in kitchen garden and marketing traditional dishes and popularizing cooking methods through 'Grameena Bhakshanashala' (village food stall).

'Farmers' Open Market' (FOM) sells farm produces directly to the customers realizing fair price to farmers. The FOM is essentially open only to those who are registered farmers. KADS officials claim that FOM facilitates to realize at least 15-20% higher price than the selling price in alternate market. In addition, KAOS offers 30% extra price on 'organic' produce, the market for which is increasing. In 2008 KAOS is planning to introduce its own logo and label for the organic produces. The organic produces includes Nendran banana, different varieties of plantain, vegetables, paddy, milled rice, cocoa, coconut, and tender coconut.

The 'FOM' has three sections. First is 'Oaily sale center' (OSC), where farmers sell perishable commodities directly to the customers. Distress sale of any perishable produce is prevented. Second is 'Bulk produce auction center' (BPAC), where farmers auction off their produce to traders in bulk on prices decided by farmers. Third is 'Produce exchange Center' (PEC), where farmers exchange farm produces and planting materials. KADS has good short-term storage space for handling excess commodities. There is a sale counter for natural and eco-friendly farm produces, 'The Prakruthi'. The 'Karshika Vipanana Sangham' organized at Panchayat is linked to the Market and it helps farmers in collecting and transporting produces to the market at nominal service fee. The head load workers' union, which extorts wages for loading and unloading in the market area, is excluded from the KADS operational area. It also promotes capacity building of women SHGs in value addition and marketing. According to the market officials, the average monthly sale turn over in open market comes to RS.7 lakhs and it is increasing over period. KAOS also has entered into a 55year contract with a Swiss company for annual supply of 4000 t of processed organic cocoa bean/year, and this fetches 40% higher price to producers.

KADS is supported by an internet facility, which assists farmers with day-to-day and continuous trading details from various markets. Day to day trade details of the FOM are also up-linked with the help of Virtual University of KAU and Techno Park, Trivandrum. The capacity building to member farmers in collaboration with different public institutions includes supply of information on new agricultural techniques, improved varieties and other new innovations and quality planting materials as well as distribution of layer chicks, rabbits, fish fingerlings, goats, etc. The social security programme of KADS to its members includes group insurance with annual premium of Rs 100 and bringing their children under the schemes such as Janashree Sima Yojana and Shiksha Sahayog Yojana. KADS is acquiring its own market site and building infrastructure to promote farmers cause.

The sale of this year is Wetbean 200 tonnes from 1000 farmers and Vanila 30 tonnes from 500 farmers





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