TechnoServe Drives Sustainable Agriculture Practices with TraceX Solutions.

Published
, 6 minute read

Quick summary: Discover how TechnoServe's collaboration with TraceX in the 'Sustainable Livelihoods for Smallholder Farmers' program has elevated coffee quality, increased farmer incomes, and fostered socio-economic and environmental advantages.

1Agriculture generates about 24% of total global greenhouse gas emissions which is 8 billion metric tonnes of CO2e and roughly 90% of the water footprint. Growing food in a regenerative way starting with the soil strengthens farmer communities and the consumers and preserves natural ecosystems. 

In order to feed the growing population that will touch 9.7 billion by 2050, we will struggle to find arable land. The release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, depletion of natural resources, loss of biodiversity and soil degradation are serious concerns that needs to be addressed urgently. 

According to UNEP,worldwide, about 2 billion hectares of land is degraded and adoption of sustainable practices in farming will improve soil health, counter climate shocks, feed a growing population, provide a decent living to the farmers and reduce  dependence on fossil fuels. 

Agri businesses face a tremendous challenge to sustain life for both the planet and the people. Given the increasing momentum of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investment, it is a golden opportunity for the stakeholders in the agriculture supply chains to revolutionize the food system to feed millions. 

TraceX harnesses the power of blockchain technology to transform food supply chains by providing sustainable agriculture solutions for a greener future. 

TechnoServe- Sustainable Business Approach 

TechnoServe is a​n international ​​ ​non-profit organization that​ uses business solutions to support low-income communities in creating lasting prosperity for themselves. ​It believes in fighting poverty by helping people build regenerative farms, businesses and markets that increase incomes. These activities have helped transforming the lives of millions of people in poor communities around the world. 

TechnoServe’s ​‘​Sustainable Livelihoods for Smallholder Farmers​’ program that was implemented in Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh with support from the Walmart Foundation ​​aims to improve the incomes of smallholder farmers​     ​by strengthening Farmer producer Organizations (FPOs) and transforming them into sustainable enterprises. 

The Problem Statement- Why is Sustainability vital in the Coffee Industry? 

“Great Success comes with Great Responsibility”. 

The increasing coffee culture globally has resulted in tangible success for many coffee players spread across the world, ​H​owever, it is essential that everyone understands the ​urgent need for sustainability and the role they can play. ​​     ​ There needs to be actionable changes to be introduced in business models. 

The effects of climate change are exceedingly harmful​ and include loss of biodiversity, natural ecosystems and resources and extreme weather conditions. ​It is critical for​​ the coffee industry to ​ focus on ​achieving​ ​​Economic, Social and Environmental Sustainability. 

Challenges 

  • Lack of knowledge on climate smart practices 
  • Uncertainties in crop yields and hence farmer incomes 
  • Ineffective Market linkages 
  • The need for technology and digitized solutions 
  • Food insecurity and Unemployment 
  • Child labour and gender inequality 

Sustainability Solutions with TraceX 

TechnoServe​, through the ‘Sustainable Livelihoods for Smallholder Farmers’​​ ​​ program, ​partnered with TraceX to ensure consistency in the quality of coffee produced​ through ​​​sustainable farming practices​. This has​​ supported the program in improv​ing​​ farmer incomes, market linkages and socio-economic and environmental benefits.

TraceGro, the pre-harvest management module helps farmers to adopt and track regenerative and eco-friendly farming practices for the benefit of people and the planet. The module helps in configuring and tracking the environmental and socio-economic aspects in farming practices, thereby helping to build a sustainable coffee supply chain. 

Crop Activities 

These are configured as Package of Practices 

Farm Activities 

These include Farm Audit, Soil Health assessment and Regenerative Coffee Score card. 

Regenerative Score Cards 

A Regenerative Score Card can be considered as a tool to engage farmers and help them in their regenerative farming journey. 

The Coffee Regenerative Score Card built by TraceX ​with support from ​TechnoServe empowers farmers to adopt sustainable practices of production to help the people and the planet. This scorecard is associated with medals based on the scores to realize gold, silver and bronze certificates for every farmer. 

It is not a certification but a transformative path for our farmers. 

The Regenerative Coffee scorecard is a dynamic assessment activity configuration. 

The total score card is associated with the Medals. 

  • Gold Certificate = 33 
  • Silver Certificate = 22-32 
  • Bronze Certificate = 11-22 

Soil Health Assessment 

Humans have increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 45 % since the industrial age. Fossil fuels when burnt release carbon into the atmosphere. Soils have lost about 50 to 70% of carbon stock due to tilling of land. Carbon sequestration helps to remove the carbon in the atmosphere and store them in soils in plant roots and residues. About 25% of emissions have been captured by forests, farms and grasslands. 

Healthy Soil can store more carbon. 

Many companies have launched carbon marketplaces that pay farms for sequestering carbon in their soil. Soil carbon has received a lot of attention when it comes to regenerative outcomes. Carbon markets require a farm to be registered, provide documentation of their practices and have their soil tested to establish a carbon baseline. Soil health scorecards help farmers to innovate and learn the best practices that can be used. Carbon becomes a potential metric to track. 

Social Inclusivity and Economic Benefits 

Sustainable agriculture should also prioritize social equity to promote enhanced improved outcomes, including considerations for gender, low-income, racial-ethnic, and minority communities. 

TraceX’s Farmer Audit Feature captures the following entities: 

  • Child Labour 
  • Forced labour. 
  • Gender discrimination 
  • Minimum wages 
  • Labour policy 
  • Gender policy  
  • Working hours 

Win- Win for TechnoServe and TraceX 

Implementation of sustainable farming practices benefits both TechnoServe and TraceX in many ways: 

  • Implementation of on-farm regenerative practices enhances transparency and sustainability in the coffee value chain. 
  • Empower farmers with baselines to identify strengths and suggest areas of improvement. 
  • Nurture best agriculture practices for a sustainable future 
  • Facilitate obtaining Certifications like Fairtrade, Organic and Rain Forest alliance. 
  • Certifications requires farms to use regenerative practices that can be translated into different tiers which helps to assess where the farmer is in his regenerative journey.  
  • The scorecard gives the farmer a comfort of knowing that the farm’s practices have met some environmental threshold. 

Businesses get an edge as end customers can enjoy high quality products with reduced environmental impact and support a more sustainable food system. Technology solution providers have the benefit of providing sustainable solutions and responding to the growing demand for sustainable products and improve the overall health and resilience of farming system. 

The adoption of sustainable agriculture practices through regenerative agriculture and agroforestry systems is vital to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate crisis and create a more sustainable and resilient food system that ensures food security and preserves natural resources for the future generations. 

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