Annual Report 2020
Families receiving technical assistance (TA) to adopt low-carbon agriculture improved their cocoa productivity by 35 percent and their gross income by 51 percent. The model has proved that for each Real invested in technical assistance, producers receive 4 Reals in income.
Livestock in Chaco
Beef producers who adopted climate-smart practices are demonstrating that no further land conversion is needed in Chaco to increase production. Despite adverse climate conditions, farmers who have maintained 49 percent of their native forest, increased their productivity by 31 percent against the regional baseline. Carbon emissions decreased by 18 percent per hectare and 14 percent per kilogram of beef produced.
As a result of improving its processes and mechanisms, the Forest and Land Authority in Bolivia (ABT) reallocated half of its desk staff to the field to reinforce control and monitor fires and deforestation. Faster approvals will also increase law compliance amongst producers.
RWE, one of the largest players in renewable energies, and Raízen, one of the largest sugarcane processors in the world, partnered with Solidaridad to identify the risks and opportunities of using sugarcane bagasse and straw for power generation. This initiative has set the bases for a circular value chain that optimizes resources and brings value back to the producers.
Gold in Peru
Solidaridad continues consolidating its models of strategic integration between mining companies and artisanal mining organisations. In 2020, 90 miners operating on the grounds of a medium-scale company in Peru are working on safer conditions and receiving economic benefits by reducing their material and input costs by 25 percent and their transportation costs by 30 percent.
Palm in Colombia
The Colombian Research Centre, Cenipalma, adopted Extension Solution, an app developed by Solidaridad to support field staff assessing sustainability in the sector. The tool has replaced handwritten recording of progress from 776 producers in 3 months, reducing data collection time by around 30 percent.
Gender and coffee
Based on the assessment of gender roles in the coffee value chain, Solidaridad developed the Famipuntos strategy that aims to improve the workload balance for all family members using a board and an app to register time devoted to each activity and reward a more equitable distribution of the tasks.
Solidaridad and international trader OLAM designed an innovative barter program that offers preferential access to agricultural inputs to smallholder cocoa producers who demonstrate zero deforestation and introduce better labor conditions in their farms.
A deep dive
Innovation and adaptation
The Covid-19 pandemic created tremendous hurdles, and yet also brought opportunity for innovation and testing the gains of our programmes. We relied on our digital tools to reach stakeholders during times of severe restrictions, and witnessed the resiliency of the smallholders we work with throughout the year.
Throughout 2020, we worked with stakeholders across value chains to maximize impact by emphasizing inclusivity and full participation, using mixed methods for training and engagement, and bringing together actors from different spheres and sectors.
Most significant changes
The story of Casilda: Community empowerment and resilience in Chaco
Seven years ago, Casilda and her husband came to Campo Aceval, hoping to start their own business after a lifetime of working for others. They seized their opportunity by taking over a family farm in an area that provides milk to one of the largest dairy companies in Paraguay, Chortizer, or “Chorti” for the locals. To help realise their livelihood ambitions, Casilda and her husband joined the Campo Aceval cooperative, where Casilda became one of the few women directors.
“My name is Sinforosa Rodriguez: I am a woman and a miner”
Sinforosa, better known as Sinfo, is the oldest of nine siblings and a native of Porco, a municipality in Potosí, Bolivia. When her father fell ill with a lung disease called silicosis, she was asked to replace him as a member of the mining organization. There are different barriers for women to participate in the exploitation of the largest mineral reserves: from the preconception that women are not physically fit for mining to the superstition that letting women inside the mine brings bad luck. The Encarnación mine was no exception to this rule, but Sinforosa paved the way for other women relying on her father’s support and her own determination.
Organization & governance
A human-centered approach
The organization continued to be driven by human-centered approaches across human resource and data collection methods, to partnerships and communications.
Due to Covid-19, during 2020 we had a series of restrictions for the implementation of various activities in the field and making trips. Understanding this context, our donors allowed budget changes in order not to affect the main objectives of the projects. Despite delays in the planned activities, we complied with the execution of our modified work plans, especially in the case of projects financed by the Dutch Government that were already in their final stage of implementation.
Fortunately, Covid-19 did not affect calls for the implementation of projects in South America. We submitted more than 25 proposals as the lead organization, and our offices in Colombia, Peru, and Argentina increased their income by more than 700K EUR for 2021. These funds were provided by Cargill, Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA), Chemonics, Swiss Development Cooperation (SECO), The Nature Conservancy, Alicorp, and others. We have also submitted important proposals to Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) and USAID’s Sustainable Landscapes BAA involving almost all the countries in our region. Important proposals such as those submitted to the NAMA FACILITY and NICFI III did not pass the last round. Therefore, we are developing different strategies to minimize their impact.