Expanding marketing of aloe vera beverage

 
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Refrigerated truck used for selling Aloe vera beverage, Kalpitiya, Puttalam © Kumudini Ekaratne, IUCN, 2012

Objectives

  • Minimise fishing pressure and coastal resources degradation by means of enhancing income  of fisher folks
  • Increase income of existing Aloe vera cultivators  through expansion of the marketing area of Aloe vera value added product

Background

Majority of communities in Kalpitiya peninsular are highly dependent on the near shore and lagoon ecosystem and they are being exposed to a more vulnerable situation due to the coastal resources depletion. Lack of land-based opportunities, unfavorable conditions, inability to invest on modern fishing gears and crafts to harvest the resources in the deep sea also drive the high dependency on the ecosystems. As a result, to increase their household income they extract more and more resources from the near shore and lagoon ecosystem using destructive methods. The situation has accelerated in the absence of knowledge and proper management systems and also due to removing restrictions with the end of civil war. Considering the facts it is important to focus more on alternative livelihood development which should be low capital and suitable for environmental condition while increasing level of awareness among the coastal communities to ensure the sustainable utilization of the marine and coastal resources in the Kalpitiya area. Considering the prevailing situation MCRCF has introduced Aloe vera cultivation and value added product marketing as an alternative non-traditional livelihood for fisher community in the area. This obtains very positive results so far. Therefore, expansion of cultivation, value added products and marketing opportunities are opened to enhanced fisher folk livelihoods. 

 Activities:

  • Purchase small truck
  • Modify small truck as long distance mobile selling unit
  • Recruit assistant / driver for mobile selling unit
  • Distributed 6000 awareness brochures and 1000 posters for popularised Aloe vera products
  • Purchasing equipment and materials for scale up existing processing unit

Target beneficiaries

32 fisher families

Outputs

  1. Established wide and efficient distribution system for Aloe vera value added products beyond the existing marketing area.
  2. Popularised the  Aloe vera products beyond the existing marketing area.
  3. Increased quantity of existing Aloe vera value added production.

Accomplishments and challenges

  •  Aloe vera beverage is sold beyond Kalpitiya using a motorized truck.
  • 15% of the cultivating families are now spending 80% of time on cultivation - switched from their main livelihood (fisheries) to cultivation.
  • Beverage production has doubled, thus increasing the income of growers.

Contributions to cross-cutting themes

Aloe vera cultivators were women. However, they are assisted by male members of their families. Marketing was done exclusively by males.  

Lessons Learned

  • Increase of daily sales shows the demand for natural herbal beverages
  • There is a high demand for beverages during the dry season and low beverage consumption during the wet season.
  • There is a high demand for Aloe vera beverage among educated locals and foreign tourists more than the others.
  • Print and electronic media have shown interest and given publicity to the project.
  • This has generated interest around the country for cultivation and drink preparation methods showing the effectiveness of this programme.
  • Visitors are treated with Aloe vera drink by Aloe vera growers instead of other soft drinks.  

Project Facts

Country

Location

Kalpitiya, Puttalam

Topic

Duration

1st Oct 2012 to 30th Jun 2013

MFF Grant Amount

LKR 476,500/-

Co-financing Partner

LKR 1,001,000 (MCRCF)

LKR 62,500 (other partners)

Implementing Partner

Mr M.N.M.M. Nusry
Secretary
Marine and Coastal Resources Conservation Foundation (MCRCF) 
5/5, Hill street, Kalpitiya (63160)
Sri Lanka
Tel: + 94 32 3292516
Email: mcrcf@yahoo.com

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