Tan­za­nian farmer drops by on Fair­trade Fort­night visit

FOUR-DAY TOUR IN­SPI­RA­TIONAL LADY FOUGHT 10-YEAR BAT­TLE TO KEEP FARM

Bray People - - News - Mary FOG­A­RTY

WITH Fair­trade Fort­night un­der­way, an in­spi­ra­tional cof­fee farmer from Tan­za­nia has paid a visit to Bray as part of a four-day tour of Dublin and Wick­low.

The Fair­trade mark is a guar­an­tee that grow­ers in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries have re­ceived a fair price for their pro­duce.

Emi­lana Ali­gae­sha is a re­tired school­teacher who fought a gru­el­ing 10-year le­gal bat­tle to keep her farm af­ter the death of her hus­band. It was her own un­scrupu­lous neigh­bours who forced her in to the court­room to keep her prop­erty.

She now grows cof­fee and passes her skills on to other women in work­shops en­cour­ag­ing them to be more in­volved in the Karagwe District Co-op­er­a­tive, (KDCU).

‘Women were work­ing hard in the cof­fee fields but were not al­lowed to share the in­come from cof­fee,’ said the woman who is highly re­spected within her com­mu­nity.

On her first day in Ire­land, she paid a visit to the stu­dios of East Coast FM for an in­ter­view with De­clan Mee­han on the morn­ing show about her life in Tan­za­nia and how fair-trade has im­pacted on her life. Emil­iana was flown in by Cafedi­rect, a Fair­trade hot drinks com­pany, to visit the coun­try dur­ing the fort­night. She farms us­ing or­ganic meth­ods, main­tains a nurs­ery for cof­fee seedlings, keeps cows and other an­i­mals, and op­er­ates her own ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem.

Cafédi­rect, which in­vests half of its prof­its into the busi­nesses and com­mu­ni­ties of its grower part­ners, has sup­ported the work­shops that have helped to in­crease the num­ber of women in­volved in the cof­fee grow­ing so­ci­eties that make up KDCU.

‘Women have be­come leaders in their so­ci­eties on the KDCU board, even in theKDCU staff,’ said Emil­iana.

Owen Daw­son (East Coast Morn­ing Show), Emilina Ali­jae­sha (Cafédi­rect cof­fee grower from Tan­za­nia), Kieran Dunne (MD Na­tional Or­gan­ics) and Paula Straw (Na­tional Ac­count Man­ager Cafédi­rect).

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