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    Organic Spice Trade Helps Rural Empowerment in India


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 2/2001

    In 2000, ITC won an award at the World Bank's Development Marketplace competition for innovative ideas for poverty reduction (see Forum 1/2000). The winning project, "Empowerment of Rural Communities to Export Organic Spices from India" uses Export Production Villages to organize smallholder spice producers, build partnerships with local NGOs, and ultimately provide access for rural villages to higher-value export markets for organic products.

    NMBenefits: knowledge, skills, credibility

    According to a recent monitoring survey, producers say they have improved their organizational and entrepreneurial skills, have a better understanding of organic cultivation and have acquired the necessary technical knowledge on producing organic spices. They can also maintain records for the organic certification process that started last year. Out of a total project area of around 764 acres, 40% is certified today, and the remaining area is expected to be certified by summer 2002. The project has around 1,350 beneficiaries (including family members), 30% of whom are women. Tribal groups account for 70% of beneficiaries.

    Who does what?

    Participating NGOs have an important role to play in training the producers, providing market information and facilitating their relationships with exporters or directly with export markets. The Spices Board of India, with which the project was jointly developed, helps to develop NGO skills by assisting them in training producers and facilitating relationships with Indian exporters, helping to monitor activities and smoothing communication between all project partners. ITC collects information on selected European markets for organic spices; potential buyers have been identified.

    Success factors

    A strong market orientation, early creation of the implementation framework and close partnerships with capable and committed local support institutions like the Spices Board of India and local NGOs have contributed to the pro-ject's success.

    For more information about ITC's approach to export-led poverty reduction or to share your comments, experiences or proposals for similar projects, contact Karin Fock (fock@intracen.org). For more information about the project see the World Bank's Development Marketplace web site (http://www.developmentmarketplace.org/html/report886.html).