7 stories of ambitious farmers around the world
Agriterra reaches almost 700,000 farmers, organised in in more than 250 cooperatives.
We interviewed 7 farmers from Nepal (2), Peru, Uganda, Philippines, China and Ethiopia to find out if their situation has been changed.
How was their situation several years ago (or before their membership), what has happened during their membership, what were the most significant changes in their situation and how did the changes come about?
Below you can read the story of Pabitra Khatri from Nepal.
Female farmer and board member of Barboteli Tea Producer Cooperative Society Ltd.
Member since: 2011
Pabitra Khatri lives in a family of 5 in total. Her family consists of Pabitra herself, her husband, their 2 daughters and 1 son. They have 1 cow and 1 calf. After connecting with a member of the Board of directors and other members of the Barboteli Tea Producer cooperative Society Ltd. in 2011, Pabitra became a cooperative member. She is a person who has wanted to learn since childhood. The main reason to become a member of the cooperative was to become socially active.
Her participation in the programme, training and workshop conducted by the Central Tea Cooperative Federation Ltd (CTCF) helped Pabitra to gain a vast knowledge about cooperatives, technics of organic tea farming, tea picking and occupational safety and health. This led to economic growth and to her living a healthier lifestyle.
Previously women were not empowered, and they were limited to only do household work, but now women are socially active and are contributing a lot to the progress of society.
Women who are involved in their cooperative are active and contribute in supporting their families as much as the men do.
With the increase in productivity Pabitra extended the tea plantation. She is also well known as a tea farmer producing high quantity and quality tea leaves in a relatively small area through good agricultural practises and organic farming.
Now she is in the board of her tea cooperative she can facilitate and empower other members and women of her cooperative. Men/women are now better of economically because of their cooperative.
Pabitra also realised an increase in the price of green leaves by 3 NPR per kilogram due to an increase in collective bargaining after becoming a member of the tea cooperative. Along with this, cooperative women have enhanced their leadership abilities, skills and have become experts about health and safety in the workplace.
‘ I became a member of the cooperative to connect with people and to learn more about cooperatives and tea and to acquire knowledge to empower women.’
Those changes are significant as women’s participation on the board and as members has created a suitable environment for growing together. Her cooperative female members are now handling both household work as well as contributing to economic growth through qualitative, as well as sustainable (organic) tea farming. Increasing leadership ability has accelerated the economic, social, cultural and environmental growth of the community. Cooperative members are now able to minimise hazards and maintain safety in the workplace after participating in the trainings, as well as following the workshop on occupational safety and health. The realisation of their own factory provides employment opportunities as well as making cooperative members aware of tea processing technology. Finally, the awareness that ‘women can do this too” was the most significant change in society in a country like Nepal.
‘My participation in the tea cooperative made me strong. I feel I can tackle any type of difficulty and can overcome any problems, whether it be farming, cooperative work or family issues.’