Meet Zi Yi
“Thanks to the knowledge I got from the Farmer Field School, I can ensure the quality can meet required standards with satisfactory yields.”
In China, Twinings supports Farmer Field Schools, teaching farmers how to increase their productivity and quality of crop and become more resilient as a result.
Improving new agricultural practices
Twinings has been supporting Farmer Field Schools (FFS), and has recently started working directly with 5,000 farmers to increase their income and improve their livelihoods.
In many parts of the world, smallholder farmers lack the right knowledge and have limited access to training, which in turns restrict their income. In China, many tea growers we source from are located in remote mountainous areas in Yunnan and Hunan where they face a range of challenges affecting their livelihoods.
Zi Yi has been working as a tea farmer in Yunnan for the past eight years. She lives with her husband and daughter. Her income is based on the volume and quality of the tea she picks, but, like many smallholder farmers, Zi Yi and her husband lacked the right knowledge and had limited access to training.
“Initially, I was not confident in managing my tea plot, as I know little about tea growing. Following the FFS, I can now monitor tea growing and apply best practice of organic fertilisation, weeding and pest control.”
FFS involve teaching farmers how to increase their productivity and quality of crop and become more resilient as a result and earn an higher income.
“My fresh tea will be weighed and graded in the factory and get paid according to quality and quantity”
Due to the seasonality of the tea crop, it is important to have other sources of income, that’s why we have also started to train farmers to diversify their income, for example through beekeeping or animal rearing.
This work is just starting, but we believe it will provide much-needed additional income for these remote communities.
Creating alternative income-generating activities leads to more financially secure families and therefore more thriving communities; we look forward to seeing how this initiative goes forward.