BCI’s Implementing Partners provide training and support to millions of cotton farmers and farming communities around the world. They have expert knowledge of local farming contexts, as well as environmental and social challenges. While supporting farmers to implement more sustainable farming practices, partners are also encouraged to develop innovative practices that benefit the farmers and farming communities in their regions.

During BCI’s virtual Implementing Partner Meeting 2021 – which aims to foster collaboration and inspiration ­­­– partners had the opportunity to showcase and submit the 2020 field-level innovations they were most proud of. Attendees then voted on the top three submissions.

Congratulations to the winners!

1st Place: Farmer Call Centre
WWF-Turkey | Turkey

In 2020, WWF-Turkey partnered with an agriculture technology provider to provide free-of-charge advisory and training services to BCI Farmers via a new call centre. The call centre launched in 2020 and allowed the WWF-Turkey team to stay in touch with farmers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and meet their needs through agricultural consultancy services. In addition, it permitted WWF-Turkey to reach more farmers than usual, at a lower cost, and offered a direct line for farmers to obtain support whenever needed. Based on the content of the calls, staff then started conducting field visits to directly respond to farmers’ precise needs for capacity building support.

This new methodology is not only a way for us to keep supporting our farmers throughout the pandemic, but also to better tailor our support to their needs at field level.” – Gökçe Okulu, WWF-Turkey.

Image: WWF Turkey 2020

2nd Place: Supporting Disadvantaged Groups
WWF-Pakistan | Pakistan

WWF-Pakistan increased its capacity building to focus on the support of disadvantaged groups working on and around the cotton fields in the Punjab and Sindh regions. Through a series of awareness campaigns, trainings delivered by female field staff, and local support, WWF-Pakistan reached 45,000 women and supported them in entrepreneurial activities to set up their own income sources via honeybee keeping, managing kitchen gardens, developing apiculture or micro-nurseries and more. In parallel, by promoting local partnerships, 356 individuals were granted disability certificates and national identity cards by the Government Social Welfare Department, providing them with access to rehabilitation services as well as financial and healthcare support.

Images: WWF Pakistan 2020

3rd Place: Decent Work Animation Videos
Ambuja Cement Foundation | India

Ambuja Cement Foundation created and distributed innovative animated training videos focused on the most pressing challenges faced by the Rajasthan cotton farming community. The videos were developed in the local language and addressed key topics, including farm safety, eradication of highly hazardous pesticides, minimum wages and child labour. This digital approach helped to strengthen participating farmers’ knowledge of critical farming challenges, while respecting social distancing and travel restrictions. In total, more than 5,821 BCI Farmers have been reached and the rest will be trained via social media and dedicated TV channels in 2021.

To address the training challenges brought about by the pandemic, we began adapting our processes, materials and methods to effectively reach out to farmers. We developed animated videos that focused on elements of the Better Cotton Principles and Criteria and addressed key questions, while also using online learning platforms for training. Gradually, it helped us to overcome challenges in reaching and engaging farmers.” – Jagdamba Tripathi, Ambuja Cement Foundation.

Images: stills from ACF video

Learn more about the other innovations presented during the virtual Implementing Partner Meeting 2021.

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