This article was originally published on Eco-Business.
“In the rugged Himalayan mountains of Bhutan, farmers are busy cracking the next big opportunity – hazelnuts.
Hazelnuts are endemic in Bhutan, but they have never been grown in a commercial and sustainable scale. Now, tens of thousands of local farmers are planting 10 million hazelnut trees on formerly degraded lands, fallows and mountain slopes.
This is the result of efforts by the Mountain Hazelnuts Group, a business where profits go hand-in-hand with positive effects on livelihoods and ecosystems preservation.
Summarising the group’s operations, the company’s founder and chief executive Daniel Spitzer, who is American, said: “We provide trees at no charge, people sell their harvested nuts back to us. We guarantee a floor price and participation in the market as the price goes up.”
To ensure that the hazelnuts are grown in ideal, environmentally friendly conditions, the company employs a special group of field monitors, comprising 170 female employees who zip around the orchards on motorcycles…”
Read on at: Eco-Business.