In Sri Lanka, thanks to the positive experience gained from joint work between ICEI and Overseas organizations, in June 2012, Ecowave was founded. Ecowave is a social enterprise operating in the remote areas of the central and eastern province of the country, which mainly deals with sustainable agriculture and the promotion of responsible tourism, with a particular focus on sustainable production and consumption and awareness on these issues.
It is an eco-friendly company that does not use chemicals for the production of spices and herbs and is one of the most innovative and profitable projects for small local producers and communities involved. Ecowave, in fact, involves the small producers of the districts of Monaragala and Ampara, which mainly deal with the production of pepper, turmeric, ginger, lemon grass and curry.
cowave aims to ensure short-chain products, reducing distance from the producer to the consumer by promoting quality products and creating added value for the producers involved, including through distribution and marketing: with Ecowave brand market, the communities involved continue to benefit, safeguarding their productive capacity and managing to cover an even wider market.
In Buttala there is the spice production and processing plant. Here, starting from the primary substances that are farmed locally by local farmers, an ad hoc plant has recently been put in place where the machinery and technology transform primary products and make them available on the market.
Within this spice unit, the processing activities are carried out for a total of about 280 tonnes of spices per year. At the establishment of Buttala, a team of 24 full-time workers, is expected to be employed with income opportunities for around 500 peasants in the surrounding area. In addition, the 250 local peasants who had already been supported by ICEI through SriEco and SriBiz projects to improve the quality of the cultivated products and the suitability of the tools used, continue to be supported by the activities carried out by Ecowave.
On 21 June, the inauguration ceremony of the spices plant was held. It was an important date for the economic development of the area and for the whole community. The inauguration ceremony was attended by local people and involved also the President of Ecowave Suresh De Mel, Cristina Palamini, ICEI country representative, and Michael Parr, Director of the VEGA BIZ + program.