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    Southeast Asia
     Mar 10, '14


Sun shines on forest women
By Stella Paul

ANANATAGIRI, India - The Koya and Konds tribes in the Eastern Ghat mountains of southern India have made a living for centuries from the forest and its products including leaves, edible herbs, medicinal plants, fungi, seeds and roots. Now, cooperatives are tapping the sun that shines through it.

Solar dryers installed by the Kovel Foundation - a non-profit group that helps forest tribes defend their rights and improve their



livelihood - are helping a collective of entrepreneurs make more of their businesses.

Making a profit for the cooperative depends on producing good quality herbs quickly and efficiently - a difficult task as the women lack proper infrastructure to store or dry their produce. In addition, forests villages are very vulnerable to extreme weather, especially cyclonic storms. According to the Disaster Management department of Andhra Pradesh state in southern India, the area has witnessed over 60 cyclones in the past 40 years, and the frequency is rising. Using solar energy to dry their herbs has helped the women minimize risks of damage. More ...

(Inter Press Service)

 

 

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