Ecological Agriculture and Cooperatives Project

Ecological Agriculture and Cooperatives Project

China
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

GCB ‘Ecological Agriculture and Cooperatives Project’ aims at developing ecological agriculture centered on sunflower in Huining County in Gansu, China. It encourages local farmers to establish agricultural professional cooperatives to improve the livelihood of the farmers in poverty, increase the organizational level of local farmers, decrease local soil and plant pollution, and promote sustainab

About You
Organization:
Green Camel Bell
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Section 1: About You
First Name

Zhong

Last Name

Zhao

Country
Section 2: About Your Organization
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Yes

Organization Name

Green Camel Bell

Organization Phone

86 931 265 0202

Organization Address

Room 102, Unit 4, 17th Building, MingRen HuaYuan, Qilihe District Lanzhou 730050

Organization Country
How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Your idea
Country your work focuses on
Innovation
What makes your innovation unique?

1. Community based information survey

GCB obtained basic information such as livelihood status, planting structure, and state of environment of the project site. GCB also collected views from farmers towards sunflower plantation and agricultural professional cooperatives, which provided basic information for future activities.

2. Voluntary education and farming by college students during summer vacations

In mid-July 2009, volunteers from the Gansu Political Science and Law Institute carried out a half-month voluntary education in local Hope Schools.

3. Trainings of planting techniques and cooperatives

In order to solve the problem of local farmers’ lack of knowledge about cooperatives, as well as respond to the local farmers’ requests, GCB organized a series of trainings including ‘Farmers in Poverty and Market’ Forum, Sunflower Plantation Skills Training, Professional Cooperatives Basic Knowledge Training

4. Encouraging the establishment of cooperatives

Currently, there are 139 farmers who voluntarily joined the cooperatives in Niujiahe Village. They elected the first cooperatives board of directors and supervision committee.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Impact
Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact

We’ve help 200 families increase 1500 RMB yuan income for one family last year by promoting ecological sunflower planting.
We promoted a new cooperative founded through propaganda, training, mobilisation and voting, with 139 members now.
We helped 300 families save 90 RMB yuan for one family this year by centralization of buying sunflower seed.

Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing

However, several problems arose, such as GCB staff’s lack of experience working in rural areas, and insufficiency in the market research of sunflowers, both of which were obstacles to the further promotion of this project. GCB plans to continue the voluntary education and farming by college students in Niujiahe Village next year. At the same time, GCB will assist cooperatives to provide high-quality seeds, professional plantation technique instructions, platform for the purchasing, selling, and eventual processing of sunflower seeds to create a local sunflower brand.

Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. Include a description of the business model. What might prevent that success?

Step 1: To let local villagers know and understand cooperative and the benefit of cooperation. To mobilize them join cooperative.
Step 2: To buy capital goods together as seeds, agriculture tools, and etc. To sale farm produce together after harvest. It can reduce villagers farm cost and increase their income.
Step 3: To run an own brand of cooperative, and connect producer in rural community and consumer in urban community together.

Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible

First Year: Operate the cooperative in formal.
Most of the families join the cooperative.
Help each family increase 800 RMB income by planting crops and feeding animals.
Get successful sample of ecological agriculture in the community.
Second Year: More families join the cooperative including ones of nearby villages.
Part of the villagers plant organic crops and feed ecological animals, whose produce is sold to urban citizen directly.
The average income of family reaches 10,000 RMB Yuan a year.
Culture building is promoted well.
Third Year: The community becomes a sustainable and ecological community totally.

How many people will your project serve annually?

101‐1000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your innovation seek to have an impact on public policy?

Yes

If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?

The government is recommended to take part in actions during the duration of the project. He can make this project an example, and diffuse this model to other communities. Moreover, he can support the project, if he is interested in.

Sustainability
What stage is your Social Enterprise in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Does your organization have a board of directors or an advisory board?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with businesses?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with government?

Yes

Please tell us more about how partnerships could be critical to the success of your Social Enterprise

The cooperative has established three kinds of partnerships :

- with the enterprises :
- For the buying seeds: the cooperative is thus able to buy the seats at the best price and sell them to the farmers at a less cheaper price. That’s the main income of the cooperative.
- For the selling of the primary products : the cooperative is able to bargain with the enterprises, as for the buying of seats, to sell the production of the farmers at good price.

- With the NGOs : The project established partnerships with the ngos and can thus benefit of trainees from professionnals.

- The government : The government can support the cooperative.
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We would like to learn more about how your initiative is financially supported. Please explain your business plan/revenue model

- Earn a little benefit by buying and selling goods and products. The benefit earned is use for the development of the cooperative.
- Market and propagandize organic food to customers with a uniform brand and quality standard. Indeed, the cooperative control all the process of production, reducing intermediaries for thus being able to get a better price. Creating a quality standard and an uniform brand is moreover a good way to make more known the cooperative.
- To organize citizen to hire farmland and tour in the community. This kind of ecotourism is another way for the farmers to reach a better level of life.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

We investigated the environment and poverty situation in Northwest China, and saw the poorest, most backward and most adverse environmental conditions.
Though the result, we find it’s very urgent to promote ecological agriculture, increase famer’s income and make them cooperate with each other.
At last, we find a way to promote local villager to found an ecological agriculture cooperative.

Tell us about the person—the social innovator—behind this idea.

Wen Tiejun, Professor, Dean of the School of Agriculture & Rural Development, Renmin University of China, who initiate the New Rural Reconstruction Movement. His ideas and spirit have influenced a growing movement of rural experimentation.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Through another organization or company

If through another source, please provide the information