Solidaridad promoted regenerative practices in Asia such as crop diversification, tree planting, reduced tillage, mulching, and water conservation techniques that would lead to better soil organic content capturing and storage along with reduced emissions. These practices remove carbon present in the atmosphere and return it to the ground, thus converting the croplands into a “carbon sink.”
The digital divide is a major contributor to further widening the gender gap in agriculture. Through our digital interventions, we have brought nearly 12,000 women farmers in Bangladesh and 5,000 in India into the formal supply chain. Additionally, financial inclusion has strengthened their position in the formal market system.
Regional Sustainability Initiatives
Although Asian countries are among the major producers/consumers of agricultural commodities, they do not enjoy a majority stakeholder voice at the global policy table. The initiatives have been instrumental in promoting the voice of the region through multi-stakeholder platforms on tea, palm oil and cotton. These platforms are also demanding commitment to sustainability in the producer supply chain.
Solidaridad in Asia is empowering farmers to play a larger role in the agricultural supply chain, by supporting and strengthening farmer producer organizations and cooperatives. Village Super Market in Bangladesh is now a farmer owned organization. Groups of ambitious soy farmers are being supported with training in making high value products like tofu and building market linkages. In Bangladesh, Solidaridad-trained women entrepreneurs are running milk collection centres.
Our innovative solutions to tackle solid waste management and clean water in leather and textiles has further strengthened our pollution abatement agenda. The success from our leather projects in Kanpur and Kolkata is being recognized, both nationally and internationally, for reducing pollution and conserving water during leather processing. The results are now replicated in another major leather cluster in Tamil Nadu, India. Initiatives like Sustainability Scorecard Matrix, launched as part of the Leather Trade Intelligence Portal, bring focus on sustainable supply chain within the leather sector in India.
In minerals, we have worked to strengthen our Code of Responsible Extraction initiative, which improves working conditions among the mining communities. These include providing drinking water facilities, separate toilets for men and women, rest shelters for workers, creche facilities for lactating mothers, etc. Worker well-being is also a key focus across our projects in leather; workers are trained on occupational safety and health, provided safety kits, etc. In Sri Lanka, the Reaching the Unreached project focused on water, sanitation and hygiene.
A deep dive
Results across four areas
Solidaridad implements programmes in four integrally interconnected result areas: at the farm or producer level, at the business level, at the policy level, and at the market level. All with the overall goal of building resilient communities through sustainable supply chains.
Change that Matters Stories
Farming for a better livelihood
Bibek Sen is a small-scale farmer with a 1.6 acre tea garden he inherited from his father in Maynaguri taluka of Jalpaiguri district, North Bengal, India. He’s committed to improving his tea from the ground up and focused on soil health to boost quality and attract a higher price.
BEATING THE WATER & SANITATION CRISIS IN SRI LANKA
For communities in and around the tea planation areas in Sri Lanka, water and sanitation remain significant challenges. Solidaridad stepped up to the challenge with the Reaching the Unreached programme designed to rehabilitate and improve water and sanitation conditions in 50 estates and 100 villages.
Starting anew with regenerative agriculture
Agriculture is at the centre of a number of global challenges today. Climate change, depleting water tables, degraded soils, loss of biodiversity along with a staggered social and economic development—to name a few. For cotton farmers in India, regenerative agriculture spells a new beginning.
A SUGARCANE FARMER FINDING NEW AVENUES FOR INCOME IN INDIA
Swati Sanjay Pavale is a small-scale sugarcane farmer in the Maharashtra region of India. Recently, she has found new ways to produce more sugarcane in an environmentally-friendly way, while also boosting her income.
Innovative Sustainability Solutions
Pushing the envelope
We doubled down on our commitments to integrate gender inclusivity, and balance economic development with environmental preservation. Digital innovations were leveraged to engage and connect smallholders, while also bridging gaps created by Covid-19 restrictions.
Organization & governance
During 2022, the Thailand country operation started with a dedicated country manager and the position of country manager for Indonesia was filled. We have been working to start operations in the Philippines and Nepal.
In Asia, both income generation and expenditure on projects showed significant improvement from 2021, reflecting a recovery from pandemic levels. Beyond the approved budget, Asia was able to secure additional funding through government and CSR grants.