Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Land and People on radio

"Rami Zurayk, a professor at the American University of Beirut, is part of the group Land and People which provides strategic marketing and technical services to Lebanese farmers, helping them carve out a niche, effectively brand their unique farm products and
earn more money, whilst sustaining natural resources and strengthening Lebanon's rural social fabric.

One of the projects that the organisation heads is to help farmers wean themselves off chemical fertilizers which are both expensive and environmentally hazardous. Instead, they split the cost of a mechanical shredder with a farmer who then uses it to compost banana leaves - by paying half the price, the farmer is also more inclined to maintain the machine better than if it had simply been provided free.

Land and People has helped a women's co-operative launch a millet bread bakery that is becoming increasingly successful.

It's also helped farmers who saw their land and crops destroyed by Israeli bombing in 2006 by encouraging them to harvest wild laurel for the production of expensive boutique soap that Land and People help market in Europe.

For Rami Zurayk, each of these projects is a small step towards a much larger goal: "My goal is to change the world! [...] It's to change the way trade operates in the world; trade relations; not only between developing countries and developed countries ... between people."

Dave Kattenburg follows Land and People mobile clinics for Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Listen to the program here. The Land and People segment is in the second half of the program.

1 comment:

m. said...

Great interview.