Natural Resource Management
Most people in the Varusanadu valley depend on agriculture for their livelihood,
but agricultural productivity is in decline, due to soil degradation and erosion,
irregular water supply, and the misuse of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
In 2010, Vasandham established the Vasandham Environmental Resource Centre (VERC),
which is dedicated to raising awareness of natural resource management techniques
such as organic farming methods, water harvesting, indigenous crop development,
soil erosion prevention and alternative energy resources. VERC provides training
and demonstrates replicable resource management techniques to the local community,
and is also a seed bank for indigenous / traditional crops.
A network of Farmer’s Groups also operates, providing training and resources to
local farmers. The Farmers’ Groups facilitate access to government agricultural
projects, helping the local community to utilise these resources.
Vasandham has been raising public awareness on water and land-development issues
through public campaigns and informal social advocacy. It motivates the community
to recover and restore public water tanks from private encroachers; this replenishes
ground water and ensures a more reliable water supply to the community.