Sustainable practices

Charity schools in Tanzania

For countries to develop they must be able to trade with each other. Many developing countries are engaged in agriculture, so to help them develop, they must be able to make a profit from the crops that they grow. Education is crucial to improving agricultural knowledge and skills and to developing primary industries.

Students at Rishi Valley school in India watering a tree nursery
Students at Rishi Valley school in India watering a tree nursery

In Tanzania, children are educated in sustainable farming practices as part of their schooling. Farming practices that help to improve the land for growing crops include irrigation, terraces, planting trees and building stone lines. Farming advisers are local people who give advice to local villagers on how to improve their agricultural outputs.

Self-help schemes are small-scale and allow local people to use simple technology that is produced locally, eg ploughs which can be pulled by cattle. Self-help schemes are sustainable because they mean that people are not dependent on expensive loans and experts from abroad.

Rainforest sustainability - Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, some people are making a profit from farming in the rainforest without destroying it. Sustainable farming techniques are allowing farmers to grow and harvest cocoa and organic bananas for sale.

The money made from the trade of these products has been used to improve the standard of living of farmers and their families. Other people are making money from trees which have naturally fallen down. They are chopped into logs, removed by buffalo and the timber is sold.

Combined with eco-tourism, these methods are helping to sustain a long-term vision of rainforest use. Local people are making money while protecting the rainforest to ensure it can benefit future generations.

In Kenya, mobile phones are being used to help improve the economy. More than 70 per cent of people in Kenya have mobiles but only 20 per cent have bank accounts.

Phones are being used to transfer money which allows people to trade, eg buy the goods they need from shops. As more money is being spent, the economy of Kenya is improving while at the same time mobile phones discarded in developed countries are being reused.


Describe ways that Fair Trade helps farmers in developing countries.

  • Farmers are paid a reasonable price for their products and are not ripped-off.
  • Better working conditions mean that farmers have an improved quality of life.
  • Guaranteed prices take the stress away from selling crops on the open market.
  • Families have more income and can send their children to school and pay for medicines if they become ill.
Move on to Test