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Showing posts tagged “Premim Projects”

Congratulations to the sugar farmers of Plaine des Calebasses co-op, who have won 3rd place in the Mauritius Excellence Awards for Cooperatives.Organized by the Mauritian Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, the award recognizes cooperatives who are governed fairly, run transparently and who are always striving to improve further. The core criteria include efficiency in leadership, good management of people and resources, and customer and service excellence. "I was on cloud nine!” says Mr Bolah Beharee, Secretary of the Cooperative on winning the award. “This is a proof that our cooperative has always worked hard to restore the dignity of sugarcane planters. I least expected it and it has been a great honour and achievement in the history of our cooperative."
Plain des Calebasses is one of 28 Fairtrade certified sugar cooperatives n Mauritius, with around 5000 sugar farmers benefiting from Fairtrade. New farming machinery, training on good environmental practices, school materials and a new community hall are just some of the projects farmers have carried out with the Fairtrade Premium.

Congratulations to the sugar farmers of Plaine des Calebasses co-op, who have won 3rd place in the Mauritius Excellence Awards for Cooperatives.

Organized by the Mauritian Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, the award recognizes cooperatives who are governed fairly, run transparently and who are always striving to improve further. The core criteria include efficiency in leadership, good management of people and resources, and customer and service excellence.

"I was on cloud nine!” says Mr Bolah Beharee, Secretary of the Cooperative on winning the award. “This is a proof that our cooperative has always worked hard to restore the dignity of sugarcane planters. I least expected it and it has been a great honour and achievement in the history of our cooperative."

Plain des Calebasses is one of 28 Fairtrade certified sugar cooperatives n Mauritius, with around 5000 sugar farmers benefiting from Fairtrade. New farming machinery, training on good environmental practices, school materials and a new community hall are just some of the projects farmers have carried out with the Fairtrade Premium.

After my first days in the North of Delhi, I travelled to laid back Rayagada, a small city situated in Orissa; this rather rural state is situated on the shores of the Bay of Bengal and considered as the ‘Indian cotton belt’. Together with Sureel, Liaison Officer-India, we visited Agrocel, a cotton farmers’ group.
 
During the first day, we spent some time with the farmers to review the achievements of the past months. We discussed their challenges and their Fairtrade Premium projects (they received about INR 300,00 last year). We brought them some copies of the brochure ‘Fairtrade and you’ translated in Oriya, the language spoken in Orissa. Although the farmers understand Hindi, the national language, they were very happy to receive a Fairtrade document in their own language.
 
On the next day, some of the 600 farmers of Agrocel proudly showed us their latest Fairtrade Premium investment, a water pump. Since the cultivation of cotton requires a lot of water to irrigate the fields, they had to rent this equipment in the past, a cost that cut down their margins. They now have their own water pump, which gives them more flexibility and a better income; besides reducing their costs of production. They can also use the water pump for secondary crops, such as maize, paddy and vegetables. They told us that they have now doubled their income thanks to the water pump and the secondary crops. Agrocel farmers are very enthusiastic about their Premium projects and do not lack of ideas for the coming years: they are now planning to build bio-fertilizer facilities, latrines and a small solar electricity plant for the villages.
 
We couldn’t leave the village without paying our respects to Ganesha, the famous Hindu God currently being celebrated throughout India. In every village there is a temporary colorful altar, beautifully decorated with offerings, incense, and lit up at night with hundreds of neon lights. I even received for the occasion my first ‘tika’, the red dot on the forehead!  

Xavier Huchet, Head of Asia in Fairtrade’s Producer Services and Relations Unit, recently visited tea, rice and cotton producers in India with with Liaison Officer Anup Singh. Fairtrade International has a network of over 50 Liaison Officers around the world who provide support and training to producers.

Xavier Huchet, Head of Asia in Fairtrade’s Producer Services and  Relations Unit, recently visited tea, rice and cotton producers in India  with with Liaison Officer Anup Singh. Fairtrade International has a  network of over 50 Liaison Officers around the world who provide support  and training to producers.
After a 4 hour train ride from Delhi, we reached the city of Roorkee (Uttarakhand) to visit the rice farmers of Sunstar. Located at the foothill of the Himalayas, the area is famous in India for its Basmati rice grown in ideal weather conditions. Though the city was unusually quiet with most shops closed, Muslims in the area were celebrating Eid, the end of the Ramadan and the streets were full of stalls selling colorful and tempting sweets of all kinds. Certified since 2006, the farmers of Sunstar that we visited sell about 80% of their rice as Fairtrade, and several Premium projects have been implemented in the course of the last years. One of their latest is a computer centre, which gives the farmers’ children the opportunity to learn computer science after school. In an IT-friendly country such as India, computer science is key for children’s education, but tuition fees in private schools (about INR 300-500/ month) make it unattainable for many families. Hence the Sunstar farmers created their own computer centre, with much more reasonable fees (INR 150/ month). The computer centre opened three months ago with 10 brand new computers and a teacher position filled by the son of a Sunstar farmer, who was previously unemployed. Picture: Liaison Officer-India Anup Singh talks with a young student at the Sunstar computer centre

Xavier Huchet, Head of Asia in Fairtrade’s Producer Services and Relations Unit, recently visited tea, rice and cotton producers in India with with Liaison Officer Anup Singh. Fairtrade International has a network of over 50 Liaison Officers around the world who provide support and training to producers.


After a 4 hour train ride from Delhi, we reached the city of Roorkee (Uttarakhand) to visit the rice farmers of Sunstar. Located at the foothill of the Himalayas, the area is famous in India for its Basmati rice grown in ideal weather conditions. Though the city was unusually quiet with most shops closed, Muslims in the area were celebrating Eid, the end of the Ramadan and the streets were full of stalls selling colorful and tempting sweets of all kinds.
 
Certified since 2006, the farmers of Sunstar that we visited sell about 80% of their rice as Fairtrade, and several Premium projects have been implemented in the course of the last years. One of their latest is a computer centre, which gives the farmers’ children the opportunity to learn computer science after school.
 
In an IT-friendly country such as India, computer science is key for children’s education, but tuition fees in private schools (about INR 300-500/ month) make it unattainable for many families. Hence the Sunstar farmers created their own computer centre, with much more reasonable fees (INR 150/ month).

The computer centre opened three months ago with 10 brand new computers and a teacher position filled by the son of a Sunstar farmer, who was previously unemployed.
 
Picture: Liaison Officer-India Anup Singh talks with a young student at the Sunstar computer centre

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