Twoandahalfweeks in India – Peermade Development Society is a leader in organic farming

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Since its inception in 1980, Peermade Development Society (PDS), has worked with the marginalized, the weak and the needy. The special programs of PDS – more than 50 (!) – aim to help the small and marginal farmers of the district by leading them to organic farming. The programs are supported partly by the German BMZ and KKS. Climate change adaptation, ecological farming and biodiversity protection are the most important areas they take care of. Various activities biogas plants, smokeless chulah (traditional stoves that reduce the inhouse pollution), the establishment of low cost cardamom driers are just some examples of this society. Substantial contributions are made in the field of organic farming. The Self Help Groups formed by PDS tell a lot of stories about the women empowerment and entrepreneurship programmes. They support also innovations coming from women and farmers themselves and bring them on the market. A nice example are the mosquito repelling sticks or the tribal broom production that has led to a real progress for income. The micro financing unit is growing steadily with getting loans from State Bank of India. There are loan programmes running for tribal farmers, assistance for soil, water and energy conservation and income generating activities. The reimbursement on the loan is about 99% which shows the most important fact of all: people trust the PDS programmes.
Maybe that’s why PDS is known not just on a local level, but invited also by foreign countries to participate in conferences.

Rural houses and some other examples
Just in 2013 PDS assisted 15 families to construct new houses and 35 families to renovate their houses with the help of a loan from Habitat for Humanity India. A fully automated laundry unit located in Kumily is being managed exclusively by women and the Eco shops a marketing outlet for Peermade Development Society, dealing exclusively with organic and rural products.
For many activities training centers have been set up. One example is the carpentry unit that specializes in manufacturing high quality furniture and equipment required for Ayurvedic treatment centers. Rural health and wellness is supported not just by Sahyadri Ayurveda Pharmaceuticals – of course produced by local people – but PDS is active in the area of primary health care , mental health and medical insurance.

Peermade Development Society is one of the biggest NGOs here in South India.
Most of our group are very astonished how just a handful of people can handle and manage all.
‘Give people themselves the responsibility to take care on the projects. That’s the best for all,’ says father Dr Hubby Mathew with a bright smile. He is the soul of the organization, the good spirit and an excellent ‘manager’. We spend three days and visit a lot of projects together with him. He is one of those persons from whom you can learn a lot about life and where you feel always welcome.
Nani, nani father – thank you!

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