Marginalized Organic Producer Association (MOPA)
Marginalized Organic Producer Association (MOPA) is a organization consisting with integrated producer societies established by marginalized producers and their employees, based on their geographical background. Marginalized producers are the small farmers, and medium scale producers with less than 50 permanent employees, who undergoes difficulties in obtaining a justifiable price for their produce in the market, without any middlemen involvement. MOPA flock & lead these small and medium scale farming communities in Sri Lanka with a genuine intent in bringing the marginalized producers and sophisticated end-users closer together, in order to contribute to the enhancement of natural process of organic production, while encouraging the sustainable development.
New Era of Marginalized Procedures – How MOPA Was Born
Dr Sarath Ranaweera, visionary founder of the Small Organic Farmers’ Association (SOFA), after facilitating independency of SOFA in year 2009 observed, that there are many other small producers scattered around and out of reach of SOFA, who deserve the same attention to come out of the vicious structure layered with degradation of environment, unproductive farm lands, low quality & quantity in harvests, lower market prices, middlemen crisis, lower income etc. These producers have been living their lives over the decades fighting courageously, a silent war inflicted on them by multinational agro-chemical agencies. Dr Ranaweera had a notion of bringing these marginalized small and medium producers and their employees, in to a single frame of reference through a well manured strategic approach.
Being the visionary leader himself, he identified group of farmers in Uva & Central regions of Sri Lanka, approaching them with his framework to set up a partnership project, where Bio Foods support producers during the in-conversion period of conventional to organic agriculture. Subsequently, Dr Ranaweera and his team initiated the process of identifying and recruiting potential farmer leaders who has leadership qualities and convincing abilities. During the next phase close to 600 producers were mobilized on concepts and procedures of organic agriculture, and organized into societies named as Blocks according to their geographical distribution. Due to the continuous diligent & tireless efforts of every one involved, in August 2010 MOPA became the phenomenon it is now today with a membership over 800 producers, ambitious to seek way forward to sustainability using Fair Trade as a tool.
MOPA is a registered Organic & Fair Trade producer organization, dedicated to environment friendly farming practices, adhering to organic principles and respecting the local ecological ethics, which enriches the soil structure and uplift the bio diversity in farm lands, thereby increasing the productivity. With 24 established producer societies around the country, their outreach covers 1638.3 hectares to date, with more than 2000 family members as beneficiaries. In most case scenarios all the family members are involved in farming either full time or part time, with close to 50% of them being women.
Membership is growing with the absorptions of in-conversion farmers in to certified status and all members being given fullest support from the agricultural extension and internal control programmes of Bio Foods Pvt Ltd. MOPA open arms to welcome all farmers regardless of economic, social, cultural or any other difference.
Mopa News and Events
Foods for Plants.
Organic & Biodynamic compost preparation programme was conducted at Bogahakumbura estate on January 2012. The compost made under this initiation is result in30000.kg of compost to be used as field inputs to the tea and other cultivation.
A Drinking water project at Bogahakumbura estate was established in ….. 2012. This project was funded by the Fair Trade premium and extends its benefits to 41 families in and around the estate.
Using the Fair Trade premium, MOPA distributed Government approved school bags, shoes, text books and stationery items to school children of employees at Kapuwatte estate & Naula farm, on…. 2012. .
MOPA farmer training programme on Organic & Biodynamic Agriculture was held in Dambulla Training Center on 2012. 5 25 and 26farmers from all regions and15 producers participated in this one day training. .