As Mana looks forward to 2017, we see a lot that we want to accomplish. This includes a lot of business goals (develop 3 new tea blends) and travel dreams (Israel!). But what really gets us going are our sustainability goals. Check them out below!
Goal 1: Plant 25 Hectares of new organic tea in Chota Tingrai tea estate
New organic tea plantings at Chota Tingrai Tea Estate
Mana has converted over 75 Hectares of tea into organic over the last 4 years. Last year, our customers only had one request—more tea! To meet the growing demand, Mana is adding 25 hectares of new tea land to its organic sections in 2017. That’s 100 hectares of certified organic land in total!
Goal 2: Make 700 tonnes of organic compost at Chota Tingrai
Making organic compost at Chota Tingrai
Our Mana field team at Chota Tingrai has already ramped up our compost production to keep up with the new organic plantings. This year, we plan to make a total of 700 compost heaps, 400 more than last year! (1 heap = 1 ton of compost). To achieve this goal, the waste management team is working very hard to collect as much biomass from within the estate as possible.
Goal 3: Introduce a new Kindergarten English and Math curriculum at the estate schools in Chota Tingrai
In 2016, Mana hired new team members to improve the quality of teaching at local government schools. This year, we are adding a whole new English and math curriculum for the Kindergarten students. Over the coming years, we plan improve curriculum for all grades 1-5.
Goal 4: Start a financial literacy program for tea workers in partner estates.
The end of 2016 witnessed a paradigm shift in the Indian financial system. The government wants to achieve a “cashless economy” to reduce the costs of currency, improve tax collection, and reduce corruption. As a part of this new objective, the government expects the tea industry to pay all its workers through direct deposit, instead of cash. While integrating workers into the banking system will ultimately benefit them, the change is very sudden. Most workers have never had a bank account, and do not yet understand formal banking.
Mana is developing a financial literacy program to assist its partner estates in helping workers transition to the formal banking sector. We hope to secure a bank account for every worker by the end of first quarter 2017.
Goal 5: Start a drip irrigation project with our lentil farmers in Madhya Pradesh.
Water truck, with inscription translated as "water is life"
In addition to organic tea, Mana Organics helps small, marginal farmers in Madhya Pradesh adopt sustainable farming systems. Per our farmers, lack of rainfall causes most crop failures. This results from 99% dependence on rain fed irrigation systems.
In 2017, Mana will co-develop a financing mechanism for small scale drip irrigation with our farmers. We hope to start with 5 farmers to test the systems, and to prepare to expand the drip irrigation to all our 600 farmers.