Kodagu: Land of coffee, oranges


Kodagu district is bordered by Dakshina Kannada district to the northwest, Hassan district to the north, Mysore district to the east, the Kannur district of Kerala to the southwest, and the Wayanad district of Kerala to the south.

Kodagu is on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. It is a hilly district with the lowest elevation in the district at 900 meters (2,900 ft) above sea-level.

The highest peak, Tadiandamol, rises to 1,750 meters (5,700 ft), with Pushpagiri, the second highest, at 1,715 meters (5,600 ft). 

The main river in Kodagu is the Cauvery. The Cauvery starts at Talacauvery, located on the eastern side of the Western Ghats, and, with its tributaries, drains the greater part of Kodagu. In July and August, rainfall is intense, and there are often showers into November. The principal town, and district capital, is Madikeri, erstwhile Mercara. Other significant towns include Virajpet and Somwarpet. The district is divided into the three taluks: Madikeri, Virajpet and Somwarpet.


A seed collective in Malnad

The Malnad Forest Garden and Seed Keepers’ collective was born in 2001 as a network of seed exchange groups focused on celebrating and endorsing biodiversity. From 2003, the collective began promoting sustainable livelihoods through conservation-oriented enterprises. The seed collective officially registered as a trust in 2008. Vanastree’s office is located in Sirsi town, but the collective has members scattered across Malnad (hilly region of the Western Ghats) as well as in the narrow coastal belt and in the eastern fringes of the Ghats.
Vanastree’s objectives arose out of concerns for the economic stability of the region and the danger of losing its small-scale, traditional food production system to the forces of globalisation. Vanastree, which translates as “Women of the Forest” in Kannada, also emphasises the traditional role of women in conservation.
Vanastree’s activities include: Forming a decentralised regional seed bank and one in Sirsi town; building an internship programme, supporting collective members in creating a variety of home-based conservation enterprises. These include production of value-added foods based on local cuisine, sales of crafts and other items, camps
and eco-homestays.

All for organic agriculture

Sahaja Samrudha started as a farmer initiated group to exchange ideas, seeds and share knowledge on sustainable agriculture. It  was the culmination of individual efforts into a more exciting and powerful force to make sustainable agriculture a way of life for the farming community. Samrudha has been establishing contacts, building networks, facilitating exchange of experience and developing programmes based on the needs of farmers of specific regions.

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