Dissanayake and his family grow rice and spices on a 1.25-acre plot of land in Alutgama, Yatawatte, Sri Lanka.
His biggest challenge is the adverse weather. Since they do not have irrigation channels, they depend on the rain and ground water. During the dry season, the ground water resources tend to dry up and they have to abandon their farming. Dissanayake works with Ethical Inspirations, a Fair Trade organization focused on promoting producers who are marginalized by war, social inequities, poverty, natural disasters, sickness or disability. Spice farmers grow their spices in their backyards in what looks like a spice forest. They work collectively within their village and sell their spices directly to Ethical Inspirations. When asked what difference it makes to work in the Fair Trade system, he said, “The minimum farm-gate price has assured us of real value for our hard work. We now have some extra money to invest in our dwellings and my family.”
Your purchase in Louisville makes a difference for farmers in Sri Lanka!