Component 3 : Set up organic agricultural sectors

Finally, it is a matter of promoting organic production and fair trade of existing crops on the edge of the KNP in the Sebitoli zone (tea in particular, coffee but also food crops) and initiating the development of new sectors (crops that are not palatable to large fauna, castor oil, vanilla), organic peppers, Prunus africana, fish farming, edible insects...) in order to ensure food security and develop income, reduce illegal activities, limit human and animal health problems (including pollinators) and encourage communities to work together to preserve the environment.

1) Carrying out a technical and economic feasibility study of income- and protein-generating agricultural activities in the villages.

In carrying out this study, NARO in collaboration with URDT Kahangi Estate under the supervision of Kinomé seeks to identify the needs of village communities for self-consumption and income generation, which also reduce the communities' attractiveness for illegal activities. The aim is therefore to set up different crops such as fish farming, coffee, vanilla,... Communities and village chiefs (LC1 of the identified villages) have already expressed their interest in providing land for these innovative crops and projects, due to their potential for diversifying income sources and capturing high added value. In a second phase, based on NARO's existing experiences and research results, the FoFauPopU project teams are carrying out a study of the economic and agronomic feasibility of the various crops identified. The agronomic feasibility study is being carried out by Kinomé. It will analyse the development potential of the commodity chains at the territorial level, bearing in mind that the objective is to meet the needs of the populations in terms of self-consumption (local food security) and income generation, and to encourage communities to adopt agro-ecological practices compatible with the preservation of wild fauna.

2) Development of income-generating agricultural activities with village environmental committees

The FoFauPopU program with technical assistance from NARO and Kahangi Estate provides training and equipment to start the newly identified agricultural activities. For initial funding, villages will be selected on the basis of their overall involvement in the program and their progress in collective governance. The counting of traps and the analysis of trap-camera videos will confirm or invalidate this involvement. It will be monitored village by village over time and the level of support will be correlated to its evolution (reduction of traps = increase in means). In the following years, funding for the most deserving villages will be reinforced as a priority. Reinforcement of positive activities concerning the Prunus africana species is essential in order to reduce illegal logging in the forest. On the one hand it is indispensable to dismantle these poaching networks with the help of UWA and on the other hand to control the origin of the products, "from sustainable plantations" in order to meet market demand and ensure the traceability of the product. The valorisation (economic, social, environmental) of the sectors will be a tool to fight against illegal activities. Training sessions will be organized by NARO and Kahangi Estate in order to strengthen the capacity of producers on the cultural requirements of the new supply chains. The communities will also be supported by the commodity chains on organizational issues: organizations between producers (producer groups) to facilitate production and marketing in particular.

3) Awareness of agroecology among tea producing companies bordering KNP 

The dialogue with the tea companies is already engaged through the various projects previously set up by SCP with the two companies (health monitoring, food monitoring, awareness raising). In addition to the awareness workshops, anonymous surveys (using a box with answers) have been conducted on bushmeat consumption by workers. The managers have always welcomed with great enthusiasm the proposals that went in the direction of improving the living conditions of the workers and that are in line with the Fair Trade (FT) specifications. FT can therefore be a springboard and a lever to promote the transition to organic production. NARO, PCGS, Kahangi Estate and Kinomé will inform, during informal meetings, the managers and technical managers of the tea companies bordering the park about these joint effects of certification and the consequences of the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, especially obsolete and poorly used pesticides. Conversely, information will be provided on organic tea yields (Kahangi Estate), market outlets and certification by companies involved in the organic sector (e.g. Tea Palace; Kahangi Estate). It will then be a question, for those who wish, of accompanying them in the conversion to crops that will meet the three criteria - organic, fair trade and sustainable - allowing a better remuneration of employees (current median salary of 32 euros/month according to a study by SCP/PCGS).

4) Accompanying the certification and marketing of organic tea in the outlying areas of Kibale

Kinomé will identify the socio-environmental requirements of different organic and fair trade labels, in order to accompany tea companies and small producers in a continuous improvement process both in their agronomic practices and in their management of workers (technical support and awareness raising). They will also be accompanied in their administrative procedures to be labelled or to create an organic label themselves. For the moment, tea is sold on the mass market (undifferentiated or little differentiated, medium and low range). The price differential (the premium) generated by access to markets that value the efforts made and the potential outlets (promising contacts have already been established with buyers, notably the Tea Palace and COMACO's "It's Wild") will serve as an incentive for the transition to ecological and socially responsible practices. In this context, a "give-and-take" procedure can be proposed: FoFauPopU helps them to obtain organic certification, which will allow them to access more profitable markets, and in return, it commits itself to looking after the natural heritage: an organic and "chimpanzee/elephant friendly" tea that can be commercially successful.

5) Supporting access to the organic market and fair trade in products from income-generating activities and subsistence crops 

On the basis of the market studies carried out upstream, and the expectations expressed by the social and environmental committees, a succinct business plan will be drawn up for each village project. An analysis of the value chain will be established with the help of Kinomé to progressively integrate the different stages of added value (production, first processing, storage, marketing) and establish an investment plan according to the integration options selected. The basic principles of the COMACO project will be retained: gradual construction and consolidation over time of a relationship of trust and empowerment of local producers; facilitated access to good agricultural practices (agro-ecology) and to the market in exchange for an end to poaching and illegal logging (including Prunus africana); gradual integration of the value chain. However, the implementation modalities will have to be adapted to the difficulties of the local context. The "development of value chains" component of the project will therefore be an evolution of the COMACO model, with the objective of gradually empowering the 6 villages, then eventually all the communities bordering the KNP, and contributing to a conservation model that is increasingly participatory and generates local development. The FoFauPopU programme will also be based on the example of COMACO to enable producers to add economic value to their production through the creation of a label or the use of the "It's Wild" brand, the principle of which is to offer producers the possibility of selling their surplus to the brand, which then pays them a premium conditional on the adoption of environmentally friendly practices.