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Equator Initiative Case Study - Women’s Medicinal Plant Producers Network, Quibdó

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In 1996, six women from the small communities of Tanado and Samurindo in the Chocó Region of Colombia partnered with an environmental NGO to add value to the harvesting and processing of aromatic and medicinal plants. Low prices and the time spent in collecting these plants made this traditional livelihood a relatively unproductive activity. With training and funding support, this women producers’ initiative developed an organic certification process, and began sustainably harvesting, processing, and marketing a mixture of wild herbs under the brand name ‘Tana Organic Spices’.
The network – named Red de Mujeres Productoras y Comercializadores de Plantas Medicinales y Aromaticas de Quibdó – has continued to grow in numbers and strength, and currently brings together 200 women Afro-Colombian women who cultivate herbs and medicinal plants in family gardens for sale to women’s groups that specialize in value-added processing. The Equator Initiative brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development, the Equator Prize--issued biennially by the Equator Initiative--shines a spotlight on their efforts by honoring them on an international stage. This project was awarded the Equator Prize in recognition of its contribution to local sustainable development solutions.

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