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Employment creation for farmers, artisans and workers.

Capacity building training and mentoring

With the help of in-country partners, we delivered training and mentoring to 25 co-operatives in Kenya, Uganda and Malawi, 50 young cocoa farmers in Ghana, and 84 coffee farmers in Nicaragua. The training covered areas such as governance, business management, finance, good agricultural practices, and environmental education.

Increase in entrepreneurial and business skills

Through our projects, we continued to support smallholder producers to increase their entrepreneurial abilities and business skills. This year we implemented five projects:

Project 1: Strengthening Governance and Financial Capacity of Producer Groups in East Africa

In February 2020, we concluded our two year project, part funded by KMF Maxwell Stuart Charitable Trust, supporting 20 tea, coffee, cocoa and handcraft co-operatives in Uganda and Kenya.

This project aimed to strengthen the governance and finance management skills of the co-operatives, to increase their
sustainability and access to financial support. To achieve this we worked in partnership with two local consultants to deliver training workshops and mentoring sessions. 

Project 2: Malawi Sustainable Solutions to Poverty

In March 2020, we concluded our three-year project in Malawi, which was funded by the Marr-Munning Trust. The project was designed to improve the income of five co-operatives through the implementation of agricultural training, business support, and a mentoring programme.

Working in partnership with Malawi Fairtrade Network (MFTN), we supported three tea co-operatives in southern Malawi and a groundnut and a macadamia co-operative in the northern regions. The training and mentoring on good agricultural practices enabled the co-operatives to increase their production and sales. 

Project 3: Growing Fairer Futures

In January 2020, we launched Growing Fairer Futures, to support 50 young cocoa farmers from 10 communities in the Osino District of eastern Ghana. Match funded with the Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust, this project aims to establish a robust and sustainable cocoa farm to provide farmers with a source of income and reduce rural to urban migration.

Although this project is ongoing, the young cocoa farmers have already recorded an improvement in their livelihoods. After learning how to plant maize and plantain amongst their cocoa tree seedlings, the subsequent harvest has enabled farmers to feed their families, whilst also having a proportion available to sell at the local market. During the second phase of this project
the young farmers will be trained in business and finance skills to help them run their new business profitably and sustainably

Project 4: Environmental Sustainability

In August 2020, we concluded this project, which was supported by our Carbon Offset Fund. We worked closely with a Nicaraguan coffee cooperative over the course of a year, to help farmers reduce their environmental impact.

The project supported 84 farmers from Unión de Cooperativas Agropecuarias de San Juan del Río Coco (UCA SJRC), to learn how to manage the wastewater created by coffee production and their own households. As well as impacting upon the health of farmers, the wastewater was damaging soil and disrupting the growth of their coffee.

Together with UCA SJRC, we provided materials to construct water treatment filters on the farmers’ land to prevent the contamination of soil and water sources from wastewater. The project beneficiaries have reported improvements in their
coffee farming. Over time we expect these changes to lead to improved yield and increased household income from the sale of coffee 

Project 5: Livelihood Security Fund

As the global impact of Covid-19 continues to unfold, it remains unclear how developing world communities will cope with the
health, economic, and social hardship caused. In addition to restrictions on movement and trade, producers are also dealing with
floods and delayed harvests, which are threatening livelihoods and increasing household food insecurity.

In direct response to these challenges we re-launched our Livelihood Security Fund to help farmers and workers in Africa and
Latin America meet their basic needs and support their income levels during and beyond the pandemic.

In May 2020, the Fund enabled us to support Bukonzo Organic Farmers Co-operative Union (BOCU), a coffee co-operative in Western Uganda, when 1,200 of their farmers were displaced by flooding. 

New projects: In July and August 2020 we launched two new projects in Burkina Faso. Following the success of our pilot
Bees for Business project in Dakaro last year, we secured funding from Guernsey Overseas Aid to replicate the project in a nearby community called Sideradougou. In this community, many families rely on the dangerous and precarious task of gold mining as their only source of income. This project is supporting 75 women to become beekeepers, as a safe and sustainable way to support their families.

With funding from the Evan Cornish Foundation, we are also supporting the now fully established beekeeping group in Dakoro with additional training to develop their honey business and helping them to diversify into sesame farming.

Following a donation from a Shared Interest Society member, in December 2020 we are launching our second Growing Fairer Futures project in Côte d’Ivoire, working in partnership with cocoa co-operative CAYAT. 

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