In 1989, ICT India began its first environmental project, Sevugampatti
Village Project (SEV), in Tamil Nadu, South India. During the SEV
project, several hundred acres of land owned by small farmers were
planted with trees that they now use to produce sustainable income.
When the Sevungampatti project was completed, ICT SEEDS went on
to share its environmental project expertise by initiating 'Nilaitha
Velaan Kuzhumam' (NVK) or Sustainable Agriculture Group Project.
NVK is based in Silvarpatti village and is an organic farming project
that will utilise and expand the capacity of 30 existing Southern
Indian NGOs to deliver participatory agricultural development, through
training and small loans schemes, to 150 villages. NVK has adopted
a 'back to basics' approach which advocates and practices soil and
water conservation principles which reduce the farmers' reliance
on artificial fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides, which are
expensive and often environmentally harmful.
ICT has been able to build the capacity of the project by obtaining
an ongoing grant that goes directly to the project. ICT has sought
out further support, but has as yet to obtain significant enough
support to really develop NVK to its full potential. ICT will continue
to try to obtain funding for NVK, so that it is able to develop
to its full potential.