Briefing On Small Island Economies Mauritius April 23, 24 2012 PRESENTATION By Renwick E. A. Rose
1. VULNERABILITY OF SMALL ISLAND ECONOMIES:• Physical, climate etc.• Legacies of underdevelopment• The trade trap as primary producers and price- takers• Disadvantaged by the lack of policy space/decision making
2. THE BANANA EXPERIENCE• Monocrop dependency (exports accounting for 20/25% GDP in early nineties)• Victims of global banana wars, cut-throat competition, market collapse• Search for alternatives
3. THE FAIRTRADE EXPERIENCE• Began 2000 as very limited groups• Expand to over 90% exports• Guaranteed minimum price, negotiated• Environmental benefits (below)• Not just production but price• Empowerment-trade literacy, negotiating skills, moving up the value chain, assuming control of industry• Seeking to expand to non-banana production
3. THE FAIRTRADE EXPERIENCE contd• The Environmental Experience• Environmental protection• This main elements of the Fairtrade principles and criteria are the protection of the environment and social equity. In this regard, the main activities focused on protection of the environment by developing structures and approaches to managing issues such agrochemical use, waste collection and disposal, soil erosion etc. The education of the producers on environmental protection was fundamental to this process.
Environmental experience• 1) The on-going training and awareness effort to promote good agricultural practices such as the linking of regular soil testing with the application of farm input needs and disease control such a nematodes and soil pH levels.• 2) The education and training in organisational management and leadership skills have helped to build capacity at the group and national level which complements the new period of greater farmers’ organisation involvement in the management• of the industry .• 3) The training for certification purposes (both fairtrade and GLOBALGAP) have been central to keeping the producers certification status, thus securing their livelihood. Some of these training programmes such as those in health and hygiene and first aid are also positive life skills useful to the individual, families and the communities.
The Environmental experience contd• 4) The establishment of demonstration plots and the farm exchange programme is playing a positive role in highlighting issues of field maintenance, environmental management, quality control etc. These are important to the efforts to have banana production practices more environmentally friendly and sustainable.• a) Services provided by WINFA and National Fairtrade Organisations (NFTOs) to ensure that this is done include; provision of training in Health and Hygiene and First Aid.
The Environmental experience contd• b) The WINFA Fairtrade Unit also works with the NFTOs to provide respirators, first Aid Kits, Gloves, and Coverall needed to ensure compliance,• funding support provided by the European Development Fund.• 5)As part of the training and sensitisation exercise the Fairtrade Unit through this project and also in collaboration with a producer organisation In Martinique has established some demonstration and farm visit activities to complement the Knowledge shared as part of the INTERREG 1V programme. These includes• a) Establishment of criteria for demonstration farmers.• b) Setting up of trial plots.• c) On-going visits to these plots by technical officers ensure that criteria are met.• d) Organise farmers to these plots to observe farming practices and to share experiences.
The Environmental Experience contd• e) Organisation of farmers exchange programmes between Windward’s producers and producers from the French territories to share experiences (especially in the area of pest and disease control in wake of the outbreaks that have occurred as a result of climate change).• 6.Training in disaster mitigation measures aimed at lessening the impact of climate change.• 7.Network with the National Emergency Organisations in the subregion in the rehabilitation process following natural disasters such as droughts, hurricane or freak storm.• 8.Work with the Ministries of Agriculture and other relevant stakeholders in ensuring that policies address issues that negatively impac ont the livelihoods of the rural communities.• 9.Consumers awareness programme to support environmental activities aimed at improving the quality of fruit consumed.
The Environmental experience contd• 10.Reduction in the use of dangerous chemical which can affect the food chain and create serious health problems, such as the reproductive health of both producers and consumers• 11.Public waste disposal campaign in rural communities and their participation in the exercise, such as the proper clearing of fields and the river banks to reduce the negative effects on marine life..• i) Fairtrade Groups notify their members of the time and facilities in place for the collection of the waste.• ii) The individual farmers clean’s his/her farm and the immediate surroundings.• iii) The groups organise a central trucking system to collect the waste from all the farms.• iv) Solid Waste management Unit accepts and dispose of the collected waste.• v) Forestry Department and the Solid Waste Management Unit work with the individual Fairtrade groups to involve the wider community (especially the schools in area) in the wider clean up.• 12.Setting up of composting plant in Dominica. Farmers purchase organic materials to add nutrients to the soil in place of chemical based fertilize.• 13.Gendered approach to preservation of both the physical and human environment by ensuring that non-discriminatory measures are in place protect farm labourers, especially women and children. Such as the use of portable water and installation of toilets on farms, and adherence to the country’s labour laws.
Other Sustainable Livelihoods Activities• MONTAGUE _ a cross island joint business venture and prime example of regional integration• Establishment of VINCYKLUS Inc – a legal entity (cluster of agro- processors and other relevant business as part of a value chain to improve the competitiveness and marketability)• Creating a framework of women traders from St Vincent who compromised over 80% of the persons engaged in regional trade. They make up the bulk of the informal economy yet their contribution to unrecognised.• Market Access Initiative in St Lucia – creating the linkages between the agricultural and tourism sectors;• Restoration of the Pointzfield Sugarcane Mill owned by the Grenada cane farmers as part of an agro tourism product;• Possible expansion of Fairtrade product s such as Spices from Grenada
Other Sustainable Activities contd• Support the River Salle women agroprocessing project and the Bee keepers in Grenada• Working along with the women vegetable farmers in Dominica in Morne Prosper and Giraudel engaged in organic producted.