Was wir tun HEKS
Christian Bobst
What we do

Our projects

HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Agricultural production and market systems» in India

After 60 years of development cooperation, HEKS/EPER left India at the end of 2020.

It was a ground-breaking and pioneering move when HEKS/EPER founded a mechanical training workshop for rural youth in Kerala in 1958. That was its first ever project to be launched in a developing country in the South. In the ensuing years HEKS/EPER teamed up with Indian partner organizations to mount various projects for underprivileged and marginalized population groups such as casteless people (Dalits), women, or India's indigenous people (Adivasis).

Mobilization around land has been one of the major HEKS/EPER successes in India: Over the past ten years, more than 100,000 Dalit and Adivasi families were able to secure land titles with the help of HEKS/EPER and its partner organizations. HEKS/EPER has also been highly instrumental in reintroducing agro-ecological farming in its project regions. Activities and practices such as vermicomposting, initiated by HEKS/EPER, have been incorporated into government programmes and will therefore be continued on a lasting basis. HEKS/EPER has now withdrawn from India and definitively handed over responsibility for projects to its partner organizations. This is also our ultimate goal as well as our expectation from sustainable development cooperation. People should not come to depend on aid. Instead, we aspire through our projects to help empower them to take over responsibility and claim the rights to which they are entitled. We came not to stay but to work towards the day when we would no longer be needed.

HEKS/EPER in India

Contact us:

Swiss Church Aid (HEKS/EPER)
Communication
Seminarstrasse 28
8042 Zurich
Switzerland
Phone: +41 44 360 88 10
E-mail: projektdienst@heks.ch

HEKS/EPER is active primarily in rural areas, where prosperity and quality of life for the poorest are closely bound up with properly functioning agriculture. This is often not the case, however, as depleted soil, poor transport routes or lacking know-how hamper profitable agricultural production. HEKS/EPER helps people engage in profitable and ecological agriculture. This calls for sustainable production techniques and a great diversity of products so as to be able to react to environmental risks and market changes. In order that produce can be marketed successfully, HEKS/EPER enhances smallholders' knowledge of the market and militates for market systems in which smallholders are able to survive. In so doing HEKS/EPER mediates between producing, processing and subcontracting enterprises.