The activists learned about social and environmental initiatives, cooperation, communities self-organisation, small and medium business development, diversification of local economy etc. For the CSO members, who actually struggle with massive agricultural industry in their regions, it is very useful to learn about the role of such small developments in ensuring quality of life and the viability of the economy and employment of people in villages. We were discovering what are the challenges that small entrepreneurs are facing and how they manage to overcome them. Participants have exchanged their experiences from home, success stories, and failures that have happened during the course of activism in their communities.
The formal plan of the study tour included three major parts:
- Implementation of social initiatives and communities self-organisation in rural areas
- Development of small entrepreneurship and cooperation between them (mostly food production related)
- Diversification of rural economy: examples of (green) tourism, traditional arts and crafts
The participants visited sustainable agricultural businesses and small dairy cooperatives, met with members of local social initiatives, learned about energy efficiency projects, composting mechanisms, and even traditional manufactures. Part of the study tour also included workshops about small business development and civil society initiatives in rural areas.
We believe that educational tours can bring new knowledge and arguments to rural activists who try to resist big agricultural companies in their regions.
Photo by Ekodiya