Sustainable rural development
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The "TerraEqua" project began in 2007 thanks to the collaboration between the Region of Tuscany, Movimento Shalom and Coop Italy. 2017 marks the tenth anniversary of TerraEqua. Its purpose is to enhance agricultural excellence of "disadvantaged" areas of the world, ensuring decent working conditions and access to the Italian market.
Part of the project consists of an agreement between Coop Italia and the Scoo.Bam co-operative. Coop Italia buys green beans directly from the cooperative. Green beans are being grown on 25 hectares of land. 125 families are involved and 800 farmers work as part of this. About 90 tonnes of green beans were imported in 2015/2016, and 100 tonnes are planned for 2016/2017.
After ten years of experience with the project, Burkinabe agricultural cooperatives have been strengthened and are now better able to plan and to respect the times and quantities of deliveries. The TerraEqua project, even with huge logistics and management difficulties, has ensured full wages for farmers who, thanks to this income, have access to health care and education for their children.
Coop Italia has a special arrangement with the Jericho area in Palestine. For every kilogram of Medjoul dates that are sold, Coop Italia donates €1 to the John Paul II Foundation which is committed to the construction of the first pediatric surgery clinic in Bethlehem. Since 2012, the year when sales began, more than €100,000 has been donated to the John Paul II Foundation.The surgery has not yet been built, but the final stage of the design process involving the planning of the interior environments of the operating theatres is underway, and permits are being requested (December 2016). Tendering has already happened, and the building will be constructed by local companies.The complex will be built next to another hospital in Bethlehem in order to optimize the general services. The work is financed by private individuals, corporations and associations, as well as by the Tuscany Region and the Italian Episcopal Conference.
The sale of melon products from Senegal in Coop Italia supermarkets under the TerraEqua brand has contributed to the construction of a new health unit in the village of Tassette, not far from the capital Dakar. The unit was built by a local builder with local workers.Having a plantation of melons near the village has helped to develop the economy of the area, and more than two hundred families live off of the cultivation of melons. They have stable, secure and well-paid jobs.
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