CSR: helping village planters

On 8 December 2015, Earth AND People (the endowment fund of the Cérélia group) and two companies, Palmci and Sifca, signed a fair and sustainable partnership agreement.

The aim? To support the palm oil producers of Côte d’Ivoire to adopt more responsible practices.

Within that framework, Earth AND People has committed to support private palm oil producers in order:

  • to help to develop the Ivorian sustainable palm oil industry by improving plantation yields without resorting to deforestation,
  • to protect the environment,
  • to improve living conditions for communities and producers, who rely for part of their livelihood on the oil palm.
     

Earth AND People has already conducted three industry projects in Côte d'Ivoire:

1 – Environmental diagnosis of the IFU of Néka

We commissioned TFT (The Forest Trust) for an environmental diagnosis of the integrated farm unit (IFU) of Néka. That diagnosis allowed an assessment of compliance by the IFU to the Sustainable Palm Oil Charter of Cérélia and the identification of action to put in place along with PalmCi.

 

2 – Map of village plantations

We turned to TFT (The Forest Trust) for preparing a map of the plantations of the 210 village planters of Néka and the surrounding area. That map has provided greater knowledge of village plantations (geolocation, surfaces, age of palms, growing itineraries etc.) and an identification of the areas of farming and environmental importance that need protection. Also, a socio-economic survey has allowed a better grasp of the living conditions of local communities and the issues they have to face.

3 – Training in good farming practices

We help the 210 village planters identified in Néka and the surrounding area to be trained in good farming practices along with Palmci and Solidaridad, an NGO that facilitates socially responsible and environmentally sound development. The programme will span several years. It will include training in the financial management of farms and the human rights awareness of local communities.

 


Earth AND People has initiated five social projects in Côte d'Ivoire:

1 – Public primary school in Néka village

We are involved in the renovation of three classrooms and the building of three extra classrooms at the school, which has 353 pupils aged from 6 to 11 years on average, that is to say from Year 1 to Year 5.

2 – Dispensary in Néka village

We are helping to build a house for a midwife. Néka village and the surrounding camps are home to 3526 children and there were 256 births in the village in 2015.

3 – Library at the Irobo IFU

We are contributing to the setting up of a village library and the training of its staff, in collaboration with the voluntary organisation Des livres pour tous. The project, which will serve some hundred teachers and their 4400 pupils in nursery to primary school, also includes literacy lessons for women and the installation of a seed library for the exchange of local seeds intended to be used in family kitchen gardens.

 

4 – Agricultural training

In partnership with the INFPA (national institute for professional agricultural training), we award study grants to 16 young volunteers for three-month courses leading to a qualification and two-year diploma courses.

5 – 120 meals at the Irobo IFU school

We fund 120 meals a day for one year at the school canteen at the Irobo IFU in order to increase school attendance among the village children.