CTRD Trust was established with the objective of raising the socio-economic conditions of the tribal community and helping them to overcome the grip of poverty and ignorance. Working at a grassroots level CTRD has dedicated its time and resources to overcome many challenges and to gain the full participation and support of the local communities.
CTRD’s strategy focuses on livelihood and skill based issues within the tribal Adivasi groups in the Nilgiri District. While in the past the focus has been more on livelihood issues through building sanitations or houses, it is now shifting to skill based actions.
On the one hand CTRD’s strategy addresses the livelihood issues by working on the factors and forces that adversely affect the lives of the rural poor. To reduce the vulnerability of poor families various interventions have been made to break the cycle of poverty. Further, efforts to improve their self-image have been made to allow them to control their own resources and livelihood options.
Recently CTRD’s actions and projects are more skill based to strength the capacity building within the communities, which helps them to obtain independence from development assistance. These projects include education programs for children, self-help groups for disabled people or agricultural trainings for tea and vegetables farmers. To ensure an active and constructive participation by the rural tribes CTRD will charge a symbolic financial contribution, while past projects and contributions have been free of charge.
The green tea project is the key element of CTRD’s strategy right now, connecting all aspects of CTRD’s strategy by generating a long-term independent income to empower the tribes to finance all needs and future programs by their own company earnings. Over 1000 farmers and their families will be part of the Tribal Tea Farmer Producer Company, which produces green tea in their own factory to eliminate all middlemen and to sell the tea directly to receive a larger share of the revenue within the value chain. By trainings on organic cultivation of tea and the tea plucking method based on the two leaves one bud principle, the tea will be sold in the premium segment and exported with the organic and Fairtrade label to Europe and the USA. The pepper growing in the mixed cultivation in the tea plantations will also be sold through another company, which will be following the same goals and methods as the tea factory.
Currently CTRD has two offices: The former CTRD main campus in Eallamanna, where trainings are done, and the new main campus in Gudalur where the new factory is build and the projects are coordinated and planed. In total 25 people work for CTRD, dedicated to realizing CTRD’s vision.