Dear Solidaridad team, this newsletter is a celebration of our achievements. This month we talk about the second Asia Tea Alliance summit in Kolkata, a panel discussion in Bengaluru on a recently concluded project, the formation of an Asian Palm Oil Alliance, sharing stage at a G20 conference, and winning a global award. We also put the spotlight on a special event in Bhopal and one of our colleagues from the castor programme in Gujarat.
Talking Tea in Kolkata
Tea is the world’s second most popular beverage after water. The sector employs 13 million people, including 9 million smallholder farmers. Despite its global prominence, tea producers face many challenges – the increasing impacts of climate change, price stagnation, high labour and input costs, and price discovery issues. At the second Asia Tea Alliance (ATA) summit in November, convened by Solidaridad, tea associations of India, China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka discussed the common sectoral challenges and launched a manifesto with key points for action. To know more about ATA and its agenda, click here
Sugar, Sustainability and Success
In October, Solidaridad conducted a panel discussion in Bengaluru to share the findings of the recently concluded Sustainable Water Fund (FDW) project. Rolled out by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency in 2015 and supported by Solidaridad, the project partnered with three sugar mills in southern India to design solutions that improved the viability of sugarcane farming, enhanced smallholders’ income and increased water usage efficiency. The 7-year project (2015-2021) reached 35,000 farmers. Read more about the event and project findings click here
Asia Says Yes to a Palm Oil Alliance
This September, Solidaridad brought palm oil industry associations from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal together to form the Asian Palm Oil Alliance, in Agra. A first-of-its-kind initiative in Asia, associations from the five major palm oil-importing countries committed to work towards promoting sustainable production and consumption of palm oil. To read more about the alliance, here
Odisha Takes the Smart Route to Farming
Solidaridad recently entered a partnership with Sarat Kar & Anima Kar Foundation and Idea-Vodafone Foundation to transform Cuttack and Kendrapara in Odisha into climate- and digitally-smart agricultural districts. Over the next three years, the SmartAgri project will benefit 50,000 small farmers. It was launched at the Central Institute for Women in Agriculture in Bhubaneswar, in September. Read more about the launch event here
Solidaridad at G20
It was an honour for Solidaridad to share the stage at the G20 Sustainable Vegetable Oils Conference in Bali, Indonesia, on 3 November 2022. Suresh Motwani, Programme Head for Vegetable Oil at Solidaridad, spoke on the critical role of smallholder farmers in achieving sustainability in palm oil.
Winning Global Award
Solidaridad received the prestigious Global Good Award on 13 October 2022, in the category of Community Partnerships, for its work in the FDW Kanpur-Unnao Leather Project which focused on pollution prevention and efficient water use. The 39-member jury felt the project was strongly rooted in the community and demonstrated great potential for replication.
Highlighting the achievements and contribution of women in rural development, the Bhopal team organised a special event to mark the International Day of Rural Women on 15 October. Women farmers who have excelled as rural entrepreneurs were awarded at the event, in Bilkisganj village in Sehore district. A soy food competition and an exhibition of agricultural products were held. Delegates from the Netherlands and officials from the Madhya Pradesh government were present.
Hirabhai Sadipadiya, Programme Field Supervisor
Hira has been working with Solidaridad’s castor programme in Gujarat since its inception in 2016. He is one of the frontrunners for on-ground implementation, and is lovingly called “Hirabhai”. Armed with specialisation in rural development management and extensive experience in the field, Hira has worked on commodities like wheat, gram and cotton, before shifting to castor. A Gujarati food and garba enthusiast, Hira loves to travel and play cricket in his leisure time.