In 2019, the Koppert Foundation supported Nuru International and Nuru Ethiopia to enable 300+ farmers, 4 farmer-owned cooperatives, and Hidota Cooperative Union to pilot an agricultural development program that aimed to:
Thanks to Koppert Foundation’s investment, Nuru was able to achieve all three of these goals during the pilot.
The pilot program delivered mung bean and groundnut input packages on loan to participating farmer-owned cooperatives coupled with direct to farmer training and extension services in partnership with the Government of Ethiopia. As a result, participating smallholder farmers realized extra household incomes of $155 USD per quarter hectare. A significant impact for remote Southern Nations smallholder farmers with limited land like Mr. Fargo Ganibazo from Wuzete Primary Farmer Cooperative. The national per capita income which includes urban areas is $790 USD in Ethiopia. Fargo’s participation in the cash crop program has enabled him to save, to budget, and to be better equipped to care for his family in the midst of challenges like healthcare needs (e.g birth of a child).
The Nuru cash crop program used demonstration plots to increase the knowledge retention of farmers and worked with local Ethiopian government agencies to revitalize existing but under-resourced farmer training centers, so community members have a location to observe the soil and yield benefits of better agronomic practices, including contour farming, crop rotations, alternative organic fertilizers, and early land preparation. These demonstration plots yielded an average of 1,9 ton/ha of groundnut and 1,4 ton/ha of mung bean, and mung bean farmers achieved a yield increase of 37%. Groundnut production was met with challenges due to erratic rainfall during the 2019 rain seasons, but farmers still achieved an average income of $177 USD after repaying their loan. This significant increase in income combined with better land stewardship translates to hundreds of families and their farmlands being healthier and stronger in the long-term. It also lays a strong foundation and justification for future scaling of this cash crop program.
In fact, despite desert locust outbreaks and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nuru Ethiopia team is on track to scale the cash crop to 600 farmers in 6 cooperatives due to its strong adaptive management systems, the support of engaged partners like the Koppert Foundation, and investments of time and resources from a growing network of like-minded agencies.
For more information see nuruinternational.org/where-we-work/ethiopia/
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This is the third annual report of the Koppert Foundation, and the second covering a full year. The three focus areas remained the same: small farmers, support for Koppert employees involved in social projects and education & innovation. In 2019, a total of 36 projects were positively assessed and supported:
11 projects related to small-scale farmers, 13 projects for social responsibility / involvement of Koppert employees and 12 projects for education / innovation.
The locations of projects with pictures and a short description are visible on the Google interactive map.
Koppert Foundation supports the Kenian local AMEA network. AMEA is a fast-growing network of public and private organizations that work in the agricultural sector, all dedicated to accelerating the development of professional farmer organizations.
The AMEA Ag-tech Working Group has generated a Guide with valuable tools that can help smallholder farmers and their farmer organizations to meet the demands of a variety of value chain stakeholders and take great strides towards sustainability.
In the context of this guide, Koppert Foundation has rated the CABI PlantWise Knowledge Bank as very valuable and presented it as a relevant technology, and therefore PlantWise has been included as one of the 7 valuable tools in the AMEA Ag-tech Guide.
The Koppert Foundation supported a cooperative of cocoa farmers in Damas (Ecuador) in 2018 and 2019. The first phase of the project involved the construction of a cocoa processing center.
In addition, training to learn how to grow products sustainably, to achieve a higher production level and to process the produce hygienically into a semi-finished product that has more value than the unprocessed cocoa beans. The second phase involved support for a group of women (the "Choco Damas") to teach them how to process the half-finished product into chocolate. This helps them getting a much higher price for the end product. By taking a larger part of the added value in the chocolate chain, the group achieves a better income with many positive consequences for their standard of living, education of children and health.
The Koppert Foundation cooperated with the NGO World Servants and cooperative Maquita, two organizations that help small farmers and their families to earn a better income through financial support and education.
The financial contribution to the two phases of this project in Ecuador was approximately € 35,000 from the Koppert Foundation. In addition to this, Koppert has supported the cooperative by ordering a substantial amount of chocolate bars. These will be used in the Dutch Koppert staff’s Christmas packages in and promotional gifts for Dutch customers.
This is the second Koppert Foundation Annual Report, and the first one covering an entire year. The three focus areas remained the same: smallholder farmers, education/innovation and support Koppert employees who are involved in social projects. In total 14 projects have been judged worthy and supported:
Koppert Foundation and Koppert Biological Systems have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CABI – an international not-for-profit organisation– – to collaborate on making more environmentally sustainable biological solutions available in the fight against crop pests in less developed countries.
This follows the success of earlier collaboration in Kenya in March this year in which CABI and the Koppert Foundation stepped up their efforts to combat pests which threaten the food security and livelihoods of thousands of farmers and their families. Under the new agreement, more training is also envisaged for Plantwise 'plant doctors' who give advice on integrated pest management to local farmers.
Other key areas of intended collaboration between CABI and Koppert as part of the MoU are:
Dr Trevor Nicholls, CABI CEO, said he was proud to be working alongside Koppert to help solve problems in agriculture and the environment. 'We look forward to continuous research into existing and new innovative non-chemical integrated pest management solutions that ultimately allow farmers to grow more and lose less to agricultural pests and diseases.'
Educational programme for 8-10 year old schoolkids
The Koppert Foundation supports ‘Nature’s little helpers’ project. This educational programme was developed in 2017 by Koppert Biological Systems in honour of the company’s 50-year jubilee and was compiled in collaboration with the Naturalis Biodiversity Centre.
The programme allows children (8-10 years) to be amazed and inspired by nature. By acquainting themselves with bumblebees and their pollination, tiny insects and their usefulness in nature, and the story of farmer Dennis’s diseased sweet pepper plants, children are introduced to the amazing power of nature. All this while using the childrens’ lunch box or break snack as a starting point and learning what comes from nature and what does not. Active learning is central. What makes the programme unique is its authenticity: children get to plant seeds, there is a preserved bumblebee in the package, and they go on an outdoor expedition to see tiny living insects.
In 2018, the programme will be promoted at schools and Nature and Environmental Education organizations in the Netherlands. The NME organizations serve regional primary schools with teaching material about nature and the environment.
The objective of this programme is to inspire as many children as possible, to make them aware of the usefulness of nature, and influence their attitude and behaviour with regard to nature. This matches Koppert Biological Systems’ company mission: to deal with the planet in a sustainable way, now and in the future.
More information can be found on the website: www.hulptroepenuitdenatuur.nl (so far only in Dutch)
CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International) and Koppert Biological Systems signed an agreement to formalize the joint effort for organizing plant doctor trainings in Kenya. The agreement was signed on March 20th in Nairobi, Kenya during the Koppert Biocontrol Dinner Event that was hosted as part of the 2-day NewAg Biocontrol Africa conference.
These trainings aim to equip existing plant doctors (beginning in Kenya) with more practical knowledge and skills related to Integrated Pest and Disease Management in small holder farms.
CABI and Koppert were also presented with a cheque from the Koppert Foundation. This Foundation contributes to projects that make sustainable farming inputs available and accessible in areas where that is not taken for granted. Ulrich Kuhlmann (Executive Director, Global Operations, CABI) and Henri Oosthoek (Managing Director, Koppert Biological Systems) gratefully accepted the € 32.500,- cheque handed by Ed Moerman (executive manager, Koppert Foundation).
This sum enables the development of the curriculum and some pilot trainings in Kenya. All are convinced that this is the beginning of a trajectory of capacity building that finally can reach an enormous number of small farmers. CABI and Koppert believe it will help them to utilize the untapped potential of beneficial organisms from nature, as well as commercially available biocontrol products.
The Koppert Foundation wants to thank all givers for their contribution on the occasion of ‘50 years Partners with Nature’. The response was overwhelming: approximately € 45.000 was donated! The directors had promised beforehand that Koppert Biological Systems would double the amount, so in total € 90,000 is now available for the four projects that were selected.
The Project Board has decided to divide this as follows:
Trees for All – Bolivia: € 20,000
Food garden – Rotterdam: € 5,000
Food for youth – Uganda: € 32,500
Training plant doctors – Kenya: € 32,500
We will gladly keep you informed of the exact completion and development of all projects through our website.
The Koppert Foundation Project Board & Working Group
The Koppert Foundation was established during Koppert Biological Systems’ golden jubilee year of 2017; making both the official registration of the Foundation and the acquisition of the ANBI status a fact.
Trees for All is a charity that aims to develop and support projects that contribute to sustainable development and have an economic, ecological and social value for society. By protecting and planting trees they want to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and climate, and to increase the income and improve the environment of local people. Currently Trees for All has projects running in Malaysia, Philippines, Mali and Bolivia. The Koppert Foundation would like to support the project in Bolivia. The project supports sustainable agroforestry: Smallholder farmers in Bolivia are encouraged to plant
production forest and fruit trees. In the long term, they will gain an income from these trees. The project also includes education on the sustainable use of the forest and microcredit options, which farmers can invest in sustainable agriculture in order to generate an income in the short term. By sponsoring this project, the Koppert Foundation aims to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and climate, and to support smallholder farmers.
For more information see www.treesforall.nl/projecten/smart-forest/
The Christian Childcare Programme aims to contribute to the development of unprivileged children in Uganda, mainly by child sponsoring and setting up and developing professional education. Recently CCP started a new project: Food for Youth. The aim of this project is to plant fruit trees and firewood trees that are better resistant to climate challenges. The project also includes the establishment of a small-scale greenhouse for the production of vegetables. Staff will be trained in agricultural skills which will benefit them further in life. Koppert has been involved with CCP for a long time. By sponsoring the Food for Youth project, the Koppert Foundation aims to enhance the sustainability of CCP by improving the life standard of the students and spreading the knowledge of intensive farming.
For more information about the CCP project see www.ccp-uganda.org; You will find more information (in Dutch only at this stage) about the agricultural aspect of the project here.
Sharing knowledge is a core value at Koppert Biological Systems. Reason enough for the company to support local agricultural consultants or ‘plant doctors’ in Kenya through a training project on Integrated Pest Management. This activity will make Koppert’s enormous store of hands-on knowledge, expertise and skills available to Kenyan small farmers via these plant doctors.
This, in turn, will help the farmers to grow better and safer crops with less dependence on chemical inputs. Not necessarily by using Koppert products but, in the first place, through a better understanding of biological systems and how best to use these for the benefit of the grower and his family.
The Food Garden was founded in August 2010 in order to supply the Food Bank Rotterdam (that delivers free food packages to low-income households) with fresh and healthy vegetables and fruit. This goal has been achieved and the Food Garden has produced large amounts of vegetables for several years for the food packages distributed by the Food Bank. Everything is homegrown on a vacant lot in Vierhaven in Rotterdam and cultivated by around 45 volunteers. It is one of the few social projects where people with a distance to the labour market are able to produce food for low-income households. Many of the volunteers have indicated that working in the garden makes them feel healthier and gives meaning to their lives. The Food Garden thereby performs multiple functions: it’s a food production garden, a learning and practice garden, a sustainable urban garden and an experimental garden with a therapeutic effect.
The Food Garden supports a sustainable urban society with healthy food for everybody. The Koppert Foundation would like to continue to contribute to this project because it helps to relieve a social welfare need close to our headquarters in Berkel en Rodenrijs.
For more information (in Dutch only at this stage) see www.voedseltuin.com