Michelin Group is championing the sustainable extraction of natural rubber. The commitment of the tyre producer to transparency and better working conditions in the extraction of raw materials has already been demonstrated with the CASCADE (Committed Actions for Smallholders Capacity Development) project using Ksapa’s SUTTI solution.
Building-up from this previous experience, it is now time to scale-up these efforts to benefit a greater number of rubber outgrowers.
The RIVER (Rubber Improvement of Value chain & Embedded Smallholders Resilience) project thus targets 6,000 rubber farmers in using the latest technology and is aligned with Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Plantations’ priorities, as outlined in its “Sri Lanka Rubber Master Plan”.
To foster economic cooperation between France and Sri Lanka, the project is financially supported by the French Ministry of Economy.
As project lead, Ksapa is responsible for the design and management of this program supporting Sri Lankan smallholder farmers in rubber cultivation. The operational implementation of the project – the delivery of training sessions to farmers – is undertaken by Michelin Group’s local subsidiary, Camso Loadstar.
Additionally, the RIVER project is supported by a club of partners bringing diverse expertises such as agronomy, IT development, or impact measurement.
Education and training on rubber cultivation practices, farm diversification, and environmental footprint all have the aim of achieving long-term improvements in smallholders’ livelihoods and Sri Lanka’s rubber sector.
The scope of the mission encompasses the provision of an integrated professional training solution, adapted to local context, smallholders’ constraints, and the scale of the project (6,000 farmers).
The priority objectives are as follows:
- Field analysis of farmers’ agronomic and socio-economic
- Implementation of a content adaptation process with our clients
- Adaptation of SUTTI mobile app to local context and farmers’ needs
- Capacity-building of trainers on agronomy, training techniques & application usage
To achieve above objectives, we rely on a strong coalition of expert partners to:
- Conduct field studies among targeted populations on farmers’ current rubber practices and agronomic systems to identify priority training needs
- Define a co-design process for content development and adaptation to local context
- Design a “training of trainers” program from learning methodology to program management with the SUTTI app
RESULTS & NEXT STEPS
In the continuity of the CASCADE project, the RIVER project aims at fostering change at the first mile of the natural rubber supply chain. Scaling-up these efforts to 6,000 farmers will greatly contribute to improving Sri Lankan farmers’ livelihoods and resilience of the country’s rubber sector.
The upcoming next steps are:
- Operational implementation of the trainings to the farmers
- Measurement of the training program’s impact on farmers’ livelihoods
- Explore opportunities for replication and scaling-up in new cultivation areas