Farmers of Rice Fund Surin, Thailand, receiving the organic premium.<br/> Photo: © Helvetas
Farmers of Rice Fund Surin, Thailand, receiving the organic premium.
Photo: © Helvetas

27.06.2017

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The Organic and Fair Trade Rice Project supports small rice farmers in India and Thailand in improving their livelihoods through organic farming practices and access to markets via a direct long-term partnership of HELVETAS with Reismühle Brunnen and Coop Switzerland.

Many smallholder rice farmers in Northern India and North-eastern Thailand increasingly struggle for their livelihoods. Continued mineral fertiliser and pesticide input has resulted in a decline in soil fertility, and therefore in yields. The farmers are increasingly confronted with droughts or floods that affect their crops. Moreover, low market prices and the high costs of agricultural inputs result in low net revenues. As a consequence, numerous smallholders are highly indebted. In addition, the unsustainable farming practices pose a serious threat to local ecosystems, water resources and people’s health.

Organic production and fair trade of traditional basmati and jasmine rice varieties enables smallholder farmers to improve their livelihoods while safeguarding the environment.

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