21 February 2013

East Africa: Fairtrade Awarded Grant to Help Tea Producers Fight Climate Change

press release

Fairtrade Africa successfully applied for a 670,000 USD grant from the Nordic Climate Fund.

The funding will be used to train Fairtrade small-scale tea producers in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda, on how to adapt to climate change. For the successful application of the ADAPTea project, Fairtrade Africa partnered with Vi Agroforestry, a Swedish organisation specialised in sustainable agricultural land management (SALM).

'Over the next two years both organisations will train Fairtrade tea producers on how to incorporate SALM into their everyday production,' explains Wangeci Gitata, Fairtrade Africa's Fundraising Manager. 'Fairtrade International is also involved, and will approach commercial partners to secure future sales and support.'

A research by the National Resources Institute (NRI 2010) shows that unless drastic adaptation and mitigation measures are taken, by 2030, there will be large areas in Eastern Africa that will be rendered unsuitable for tea growing. The producers are already feeling the impact. Last year, tea farmers were badly hit by a frost spell the worst ever case in Kenya.

'Some Fairtrade producers lost more than 30% of their harvest. It is against this backdrop that we decided to apply for the climate change project,' Wangeci concludes.

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