In conversation with Nurbek Kannazarov Director of Bio- Farmer Co-op.
Q.When and why did the Organization get Fairtrade certified?
A. We received certificate Fair Trade in 2008. Switching to organic and Fairtrade was guided by the increasing needs in the agricultural sector to reduce costs invested in expensive agro-inputs, but also to improve soil fertility and increase product value through organic and Fairtrade certification and thereby access to sustainable markets. Due to the established cooperative structure, professional services such as trainings, machinery, marketing and certification can be made to a broad group of members, currently over 1000.
Q.How many cotton farmers do you currently support, what is the percentage of women farmers?
A. At present time we support more than 1000 farmers. 16 % of them are women.
Q.Can you highlight your partnership with the Swiss government and its objective. How has it impacted your value chain so far?
A. Bio Farmer Agricultural Commodity and Service Cooperative was founded in December, 2007 as public union under the project support in Jalal-Abad region. The name of project is ‘Developing of production and organic cotton trade promotion’ (Bio Cotton) Helvetas. Later our organization was reregistered as agricultural commodity-service cooperative in November, 2009. From 2007 till 2016 the cooperative was financed by Swiss Government which has supported the creation of value chain of organic and Fairtrade cotton. It has been working successfully.
Q.What is the importance of Fairtrade cotton to the farmers in small producer organisation?
A. The primary meaning of Fairtrade for farmers is the security of Fairtrade minimum price which act as the safety net against market fluctuations, and 60% prepayment for products.
Q.What is the approx. volume of production for Fairtrade cotton per season? How much is sold on Fairtrade terms and to which country?
A. 1130 tons of Fairtrade raw cotton. For one season approximately 322 tons are sold to the countries of Euro Union
Q.Can you touch base on the Fairtrade premium interventions and how has it added to the growth of cotton in the Region?
A. Fairtrade Premium have greatly supported the organization in investment towards increasing our quality and production, financial assistance to our sick farmers and orphanages, purchase of mini truck for transporting seeds to farmers.