Ende letzten Jahres haben wir ein Crowdfunding-Projekt für die Cashew-Bauern der Fairtrade Alliance Kerala (FTAK) durchgeführt. Grund waren die verheerenden Monsun-Regengüsse des vergangen Sommers, die insbesondere in Kerala zu enromen Schäden an Haus, Hof und Infrastruktur geführt haben. Dank der Unterstützung zahlreicher Spender konnten wir im Januar über CHF 31’000 für den Wiederaufbau nach Kerala schicken. Mittlerweile konnten die dringlichsten Massnahmen, wie z.B. die Instandstellung der Wasserleitungen und der landwirtschaftlichen Flächen, sowie die Finanzierung von neuem Saatgut, umgesetzt werden. Mehr Informationen zur Verwendung der Gelder und zu den Fortschritten des Wiederaufbaus, erfährst du im Blog «Rebuilidng FTAK».

Pakka vermarktet nicht nur die Produkte der Südpartner, sondern zahlt ihnen garantierte und stabile Mindestpreise, finanziert teilweise ihre Ernte vor und schliesst langfristige Verträge mit ihnen ab. Über die Fairtrade-Zertifizierung (Max-Havelaar-Gütesiegel) profitieren die Kleinbauern zudem von einer Fairtrade-Prämie für ihre Produkte. Zusätzlich zu diesen Praktiken, engagiert sich Pakka mit einem finanziellen Beitrag: Für jedes in der Schweiz verkaufte Produkt fliessen 5 Rappen in die Pakka Foundation, um Projekte in den Ursprungsländern zu unterstützen. Die Summe all dieser Bemühungen stehen für «fairen Handel», wie dieser bei Pakka gelebt und praktiziert wird.

 

Auf der Webseite der Pakka Foundation erfährst du mehr über die Stiftung und deren Projekte.

 

Mitte Dezember 2018 kam das Crowdfunding für Kerala zum Abschluss. Die Initiatoren Pakka und Crowdcontainer, sowie die Kleinbauern der FTAK sind beeindruckt und gerührt über die grösszigen Beiträge und Solidarität. Ein grosses Dankeschön im Namen der vielen Kleinbauern der FAIR TRADE ALLIANCE KERALA, aber auch im Namen von Pakka und Crowdcontainer für die grossartige Unterstützung.

344 Personen haben insgesamt CHF 42’562 finanziert!

Möchtest du über den Aufbau und Projektverlauf in Kerala auf dem Laufenden gehalten werden? Klicke HIER um auf die Crowdfunding-Plattform von 100days zu gelangen oder schreibe dich für den Pakka– oder Crowdcontainer-Newsletter ein.

Cashew Ernten von Jahrhundertflut betroffen

Seit mehr als 10 Tagen suchen heftige Monsunregen den Bundesstaat Kerala heim und mehr als 220’000 Menschen mussten ihre Häuser verlassen. Davon betroffen sind auch die rund 5’500 Kleinbauern unseres langjährigen Partners «Fair Trade Alliance Kerala/Elements – FTAK» mit ihren angebauten Produkten Cashewnüsse, Gewürze, Kaffee, Kakao und Kokosnuss-Produkte. «Die vielen Erdrutsche in den Bergen, verursacht durch die heftigen Regenfälle, haben zu beträchtlichen Verlusten an Eigentum und Ernten geführt. Glücklicherweise sind die Bauern selber aber wohlauf» wie uns heute Tomy Mathew – Gründer der Fairtrade Alliance – informierte.

Laut Vorhersagen sollen die starken Regenfälle in den kommenden Tagen nachlassen, das Wasser geht langsam zurück und das Ende der Monsun-Saison naht.

Ein Teil der Bauern im Sugandhagiri Projektgebiet kann nun wieder zurück in ihre Häuser. Viele müssen aber noch in den Hilfslagern ausharren, da die Gefahr der Erdrutsche nach wie vor sehr hoch ist und ihre Häuser teilweise beschädigt bis komplett zerstört sind. Die schwierige und langwierige Aufgabe des Wiederaufbaus rückt nun langsam in den Hauptfokus der Kleinbauern der Kooperative «FTAK/Elements».

Bereits morgen trifft sich ein Ausschuss der Fair Trade Alliance, um (landwirtschaftliche) Soforthilfemassnahmen aufzugleisen. Zuerst werden den Kleinbauern finanzielle Hilfen für die nächste Ernte im Dezember/Januar im Sinne einer Soforthilfe ausbezahlt. Anschliessend werden die Schäden für die Häuser und Höfe aufgenommen, bewertet und in einem weiteren Schritt eine Roadmap für den Wiederaufbau definiert.

Pakka ist ein Teil von Elements und Elements ein Teil von Pakka. Nicht nur, weil die feinen Cashews, die wir in die Schweiz und nach Europa bringen, nach wie vor unser Kerngeschäft darstellen, sondern auch und gerade weil wir seit Anfang unserer Firmengeschichte einen gemeinsamen Weg gehen.

In diesen schwierigen Zeiten unterstützt Pakka «FTAK/Elements» und die dahinterstehenden Kleinbauern im Auf- und Wiederaufbau und wird kommende Ernten vorfinanzieren. Pakka wünscht der Fairtrade Alliance/Elements viel Energie im Aufbau, und dass ihre Ernten bald wieder «Pakka*» sind.

*Pakka kommt aus dem Hindi und beschreibt etwas «Reifes» oder «Solides».

Mehr Informationen über FTAK und Elements

Strawberries, apricots or melons – variety of fruits during the European summer months is wonderful. The multitude of fruits growing in Kerala, where Thomas lives, is impressive as well- Currently he is harvesting mangos eventhoug the monsoon season is going on in Kerala.

mango tree

The next two pictures show cashew trees and the natural mulching which is covering the soil beneath them as a result of the monsoon rains. Both the tree trunks and the ground are dark, soaked in rain water. This is the natural way to get the soil nourished and enriched.

cashew tree 2

cashew tree

The workload at the beginning of the monsoon season is not very heavy but now it starts again slowly – currently it is time to start sowing. The soaked ground offers perfect conditions to plant some bananas and tapioca (in Europe better known as Cassava) on Thomas` Farm. If the ground is well wet and slushy, the plants grow root easily and grow well especially tubers, tapioca and colocasia.

bananas 2

bananas 3

But Thomas is not only thinking of growing plants for humans, he also cares for his animals. They like the different grass varieties which Thomas grows for his cows. It grows abundantly as you can see in the picture below.

gras

In our last post we announced, that we will continue to tell you about the coconut development since the cashew season is over. This week there is again not much activity with the coconuts. During the monsoon season in India, nobody is plucking coconuts – neither Thomas` children, Joyet and Jomel.  Therefore, we are still waiting for better weather to get some pics of the plucking.

In the meantime Donsa, the daughter of Thomas, shows you a very young coconut sapling.

Thomas` daughter Donsa

Thomas` daughter Donsa

 

Did you know that this plant needs 8 to 10 years till it can produce coconuts? This is quite a long time. It takes long until you can reap the first coconuts, but then the coconut trees provide all year around coconuts and up to an age of 60 years.

The next picture shows the fronds how they look like when they are small. Once fully grown they reach a size of 10 -15 feet.

 

small fronds

small fronds of a coconut tree

 

And here you see fully grown trees that are producing coconuts.

fully grown

Thomas` children Joyet and Jamal send us pictures from a pond, which lies in an old quarry nearby. Doesn`t that look beautiful and doesn’t it attract to jump in and refresh from the heat? 🙂

pond

pond2

 

We received new pictures from Thomas’ children. This is not self-evident because they are very busy at school and therefore don`t have much time to take pictures. Furthermore, the connectivity is not always given so that they are not able to send pictures every week.
Right now the Cashew Season is already over while the rain season is still going on. In this time there is not that much activity on Thomas` farm, nevertheless there are some things to discover.

On the title pic you can see a great panorama pic with the beautiful landscape around Thomas` farm and the hills in the background, even though it`s very cloudy. In the following you’ll find a few more pictures of some wonderful and colourful trees.

colourful tree

panorama2

colourful tree2

As beautiful as the landscape may look even in the rain, the rain might affect unfavorably the plants and trees on the farm. Few days ago some of their mango, rubber & teak trees fell down because of heavy rain and strong winds. But don`t worry, this is not too bad; Thomas has sold the fallen trees to the timber merchant. Actually, we had had a picture of the fallen trees: One of Thomas’ son took pictures, but his brother deleted them all 🙂

Below is a picture of Thomas’ rubber trees. During the rainy season, each rubber tree has this plastic cover wrapped around it to protect the rubber juice from rain water (that is collected in coconut shells tied to the trunk).

rubber tree

Life is like a circle: things are going and coming; trees are falling, other trees are starting to grow. This picture shows small Turmeric plants, which shoot up.

turmeric plants

In the next posts we will focus on the coconut development. So you see: There are many different things to discover in a daily life of a cashew farmer in India J.

 

If you have followed our cashew farmer Francis from last year, you might remember that he is responsible for the depot. All cashew farmer within the neighboring regions bring their cashews to this depot. As the cashew season is actually almost over now, Francis opens the depot only once in a while. Here you can see him weighing a sack of cashews.

weighting sack

Since the depot is just 500 meters away from Thomas` home and the cashew harvest is less at the end of the cashew season, Thomas carries a smaller bag of cashews on his head to the depot. This explains why all the others are looking at him at the picture.

depot

To get paid, Thomas has to wait until Francis has written a receipt and has paid another farmer.

paying farmer

This year too, many Cashew trees in Eattupara got ‘burnt’, like Francis told us last time. Besides the fact that there was not enough rain, Thomas says that also an insect attack is the reason for the burning. These insects suck off the water content from the leaves and flowers of the cashew tree. And as everything is organic, they won`t use any pesticides to get rid of the insects.

Now the special kerala monsoons are about to start. Rain and wind did already hit the area around Thomas’ farm. Jomel and Joyet, Thomas’ children enjoyed the rainfall since their holidays are coming to an end and on Monday the school will reopen. Unfortunately, they couldn`t send us any pictures, but we can imagine how much fun it must be for children to play within the rain.

But what is very much fun for the ones is a curse for the others. So if it rains while all the cashews are laying out for drying, some of them will get moisture. This means more work to sort the bad ones away from the good ones. Francis himself keeps an eye on the quality as he just pays for the good ones. The following two pictures show some good and bad cashews – you might see the difference.

cashews sorted_goog cashews sorted

If you are a farmer, you have different things to do; feeding animals and cultivating land are just two examples out of many more. At the cover picture you can see Thomas tending to his Tapioca plants. For those of you who don`t know what a Tapioca plant is, it is used for making starch. In the background you can see really big rubber trees.

And again you can see some of Thomas` 8 goats grazing. It is reassuring to know that the goats are undisturbed in the open area of Thomas` 6 acre farm; nobody will chase them away for eating the greens.

goats

Last week we introduced Thomas, a cashew farmer from India. We have shown pictures from his family and his kids feeding the animals. This week we received pics from Thomas himself. So it is always nice to have a pic from the person you talking about :-).

thomas_2

Whereas in Europe spring has just started, every tree is growing and the landscape colours itself more and more green, the cashew season in India is already halfway through. Thomas has cashew trees in all different age stages: From young and small trees up to old trees full of cashew fruits.

young cashew tree

young cashew tree

cashew flowering stage

cashew flowering stage

cashew with tender nuts

cashew with tender nuts

 

Besides cashews, you also will find bananas, jackfruits, coconut, rubber, tubers and others at Thomas’ farm.

jackfruits

jackfruits

banana bunch, variety nenthra

banana bunch, variety nenthra

 

We are looking forward to get more pics and reports from Thomas – stay tuned…