Organic cotton farming
I am a founder and projects' coordinator of a Kenyan registered Non-governmental organization-Green Households Initiatives - http://ghi.org.nz/ based in Machakos County-Kenya and doing projects nationwide.
We have a number of programs running and we are in the planning proces of a program which involves working with cotton women growers in Makueni County and help them adopt to organic cotton growing practices instead of the current non-organic practices. The organic practices will use the application of Neem fertilizer and Pestcides in place of the sythetic(conventional) fertilizers and pestcides.
We are to intiate local production of Sanitary Napkins hence offering local market for the produced cotton and also availing the Napikins to the locals at affodable prices.
Gender issue edcuation will be intergated into the program.
Reasons for working in this topic, project or business:
To empower the low income or no income women both economically and socially
To contribute towards land redegradation and climate mitigation through the upscaling of Neem tree farming for organic agriculture farming.
To improve the personal hygine among the commnunities and particulally among the less advantaged women and school going girls who currently cannot afford the commercial sanitary pads hence end up using unhealthy materials during their menses.
Root causes of the problems in this field and main barriers:
The cotton growing within the county has been going down due too expensive farm inputs and lack of markets.
The agricultural land within the community has degarded so much so it can longer support the growth of any crop.
Napkins are normally improted from outside the country and sold through a chain of sellers so by the time it reaches the final consumer it is unaffordable to the many.
What is needed to overcome barriers to implement solutions:
Training of Trainers
Women group training
Recruitment of a project manager
Transfer of knowledge
Specific needs and/or support requests:
Skills in Napkin production
Finances in purchase of the Napkin production machine
Suggested best local solution for this topic:
We have a textile company -Tosheka Textile and Desigh Company http://www.slideshare.net/HermanBigham/tosheka-textiles , working with a few groups of women in organic cotton farming within the area and we are to join them in upscaling of the production and in the initiation of varied markets for the produce.
The Napkin prodcution machine is to be sourced from india http://www.nif.org.in/bd/product-detail/low-cost-sanitary-napkin-making-machine
Yes, we are open for partnership in this project with any willing parties and at different levels ranging from joint venture to grant offering.
Otherwise we are flexible on networking opportunities and this can be further discused with any interested party.
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