Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2009
This description of Gijs Spoor's work was prepared when Gijs Spoor was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2009.
Though cotton farming as widely practiced in India today is a high-risk, low-profit, resource-intensive, and even dangerous endeavor, Gijs Spoor has created a way for farmers to raise the crop to meet fair trade and organic standards and increase their incomes, improve their health, and protect the environment. His organization, Zameen, coordinates a large network of producer companies and extension workers who bring the control of sophisticated cotton production to the local level so that small farmer-owned enterprises can grow. He also employs market ambassadors who promote the farmers’ products and create direct links between the rural producers and European companies and consumers
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