Backyard poultry is one of the most popular income generating activities among the rural households in Kerala. It has the multiple benefits of promoting food security, source of nutrition for the family and also an income generating activity for women with less investment. However the major impediment to this programme is non-availability of quality and high yielding breeds of poultry birds locally. To address this issue PDS promoted Low cost home incubators invented by Mr.Shajimon K.D., residing in Mukkulam village of KokkayarPanchayat, Idukki district. The hatchability of the incubator is 80 to 95% and the capacity is 101 eggs. It is operated with electricity and can manage without electricity for 6 hrs. In collaboration with NABARD, PDS promoted 10 micro hatchery units through established SHGs.
Land to Lab Programme is a novel approach initiated by PDS for pro¬moting and augmenting grassroots innovations and traditional knowl¬edge practices. Documentation, Development, Scientific Evaluation and Dissemination are the majoractivities in this programme. The major interventions promoted by this programme are cardamom washing machine, cardamom polishing machine, pepper thresher, cardamom driers, nutmeg decorticator, arrowroot grinding machine, different farmer innovated varieties of cardamom, pepper and nutmeg etc.
The Innovators Technology Devel¬opment Centre (ITDC) at Peermade showcases the grassroots innova¬tion from the state as well as those which are suitable for Kerala. Over 71 innovations from various parts of the country are showcased here and this is regularly visited by farmers, innovators, students and other professionals.
The project on ‘developing herbal mosquito repellent’ was sanctioned to PDS in August 2010 by NABARD. The major objective of the project was to develop an herbal mosquito repellent from an existing grass root level innovative practice followed by rural households in the high ranges of Idukki district. The raw materials required for the product are agricultural waste and plants which are abundantly available locally. The project has multiple benefits of waste management, income generation, drudgery reduction and mosquito control through bio methods.
As the part of the project, we have consulted different experts, went through different journals, articles etc. and after a lot of iterative trails and research works, the final desired product is developed. Then we have developed a small scale production unit also. Now, our product, under the brand name, “Prakruthi” is successfully running through our own marketing outlets at Kuttikkanam and Peermade and through our SHG networks. Markets in Kottayam and Kochi are also explored.
As the part of organic farming, we have equipped a large vermi compost unit and through constant research oriented experiments, we are producing and supplying better quality vemi compost powder and the bio pesticide, “Vermi Wash” to the farmers. The farmers can also gain better knowledge and other advantages in the field from the regular skill trainings and seminars we are conducting.