Intern Marlies van den Nieuwenhof wrote the following blog:
My internship at Agriterra started at May 11 and ended at July 3. I am a third year Animal Husbandry student at the HAS University of Applied Sciences in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Because of COVID-19 I could not go abroad and I had to work from home. The first week of my internship I had an online introduction with Agriterra, where I spoke with several people to learn about the company. Working from home was a little strange at the beginning, but I got used to it very quickly.
The focus of my internship is to explore if carbon farming can be converted into (international) carbon credits in Nepal; and if it offers a business opportunity for cooperatives in Nepal.
In the first week I got to know two other students, Ashiraf and Rugwegwe. They are also doing their internship at Agriterra about carbon farming and carbon credits, with the focus on East-Africa. Together we formed a team were we could share our knowledge and questions about the topic.
I started by reading a lot of literature. There is very much to learn about carbon credits and the market behind it. After two weeks we started with the interviews, to compile more information about the topic. All the interviews were online and this made it sometimes harder to dig deeper into the questions.
Halfway my internship I started to focus on the District Coffee Cooperative Union of Sindhupalchowk (SCCU) in Nepal. It is representing 10 primary cooperatives with 700 individual members. The cooperative’s major business is processing and sales of green and roasted coffee. The awareness within the cooperative about carbon farming and carbon credits was very low.
Concluding, there is still a lot to learn about carbon credits and this is interesting for Agriterra and SCCU. Optimising energy use reduces costs and a higher value of the products can be realised with carbon credits.
Despite the circumstances around COVID-19 I learned a lot in 8 weeks. I have never had this much online meetings in such a short period, but this was also very interesting and I learned how to deal with it. Further, I really hope to visit Nepal someday!
Marlies van den Nieuwenhof