WE DID IT!!!
Thanks to our extended CPALI/SEPALI team (that means YOU!) and a very generous donation from the Paul Charitable Trust, we have reached our funding goal of $50,000 and then some. The "then some" is $678 from the Paul Trust that is dedicated to Stage 2 of our project. But, before I get into that, here are only some of the things we, together, have accomplished:
12 communities, 8 farmer groups/networks, 6 women’s groups/networks
146 registered farmers, 45 trained breeders, 29 actively raising larvae
11 SEPALI recruiters
Farmers independently established chrysalis and tree sharing networks allowing non-landed famers to participate in income generation
Restoration and protection
>17,000 trees inter-cropped on family farms by 48 SEPALI farmers living in the border forest of Makira Protected Area
48 farmers pledge to not use Makira Protected Area in exchange for a cocoon market
X kilos of added protein (pupae - X equals number of chrysallides produced minus 200 for the next season seed crop) to replace bushmeat, use for fertilizer or poultry feed)
Established cocoon bank; 28131 cocoons produced
20 m2 textile sold $80/m2;
•Support from NGS, Rufford Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, IRG, private donors
•SEPALI Madagascar receives SEED award (UNEP UNDP, IUCN)
I know that you realize that the accomplishments above are just a start to all we have really gotten done - the most important being building trust between the SEPALI Madagascar organization and farmers living around the protected area. As a result of this trust, farmers are finally beginning to produce cocoons although the road has been long and arduous.
We will be continuing to support the farmer production by providing a market for their cocoons. Phase II of the project is focused on building a textile production site and stocking it with solar powered sewing machines. The site will not only let farmers know that SEPALI family members will be able to make money from sewing the cocoons into a textile but at the same time illustrate that the farmers' market is insured. Hence, farmers will have a reason to expand their investment in building a green zone around the Makira Protected Area (MPA), inter-crop host-trees with fruit trees, endemic trees and food crops and respect the MPA boundries. Women who have produced cocoons (either on their land or on "rented" trees) or who are immediate members of a farmer's family, will have an independent means of income, that is textile production.
Farmer's limited access to markets goes in two directions - farmers can't buy the goods they want and they can't sell what they produce. CPALI/SEPALI Madagascar have plans to address these problems directly. As part of our future planning we are hoping to be able to extend the textile production site to include a SEPALI store where solar stoves, solar lights, solar radios, water filtration equipment and family planning services, for a start, are available. Hence, the deposits that farmers make into the cocoon bank can be used to save for valuable products that have not been previously available. Of course the vision of our training site, store, expanded farmer participation is just a twinkle in our eyes-- - but don't forget that in just 3 years ago, enabling 50 farmers to produce cocoons and build a green zone around Makira created a similar light. Thanks to you, we did it and are encouraged by your strong support to move to Phase II to insure sustainability.
All the best and let the adventure continue!!