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Welcome to our series "Portraits" that pays a tribute to the impactful and often visionary work of the organisations we support.

Our "Portraits" tell the true stories of the beneficiaries our partners stand for. By presenting their lives, aspirations and challenges, we want to raise their voices so they can become an example and inspiration for social change.

Tulabati, the woman farmer

Sustainable-Agro International (SAI), India

In Tutibar, a tiny village nestled in the Rayagada District of Odisha, India, Tulabati lives with her four children. In this photo, she looks joyful and relaxed, while chatting with her family. But life has not always been easy and kind to her.

Having lost her husband, she had to work as a school teacher and as a cook to make ends meet. Looking for an opportunity to offer a better future to her children, she discovered SAI, a social enterprise that has developed an innovative agroforestry model to help smallholder farmers improve their livelihoods.

SAI trains farmers to plant and harvest trees that are sold as raw material to paper mills, while also supporting them to plant other crops that can provide food for their families, or that they can sell to generate additional income.

Tulabati accepted SAI’s innovative model and started to cultivate a piece of land she owns. SAI provided her with 1,400 eucalyptus saplings, along with fertilizers, access to a tractor to plough her land and labour force.

SAI’s field team stayed at her side to help with training and technical guidance. When trees matured, SAI organised trucks for harvesting and transportation of the wood to paper mills. Noteworthy, Tulabati was never asked to spend a rupee of her savings on the project.

Since 2017, 37 tonnes of eucalyptus pulpwood have been harvested from her field, helping to generate Rs. 72,200 (circa USD 950) - an income that she is using to fund her youngest son’s studies and to help other members of her family. With the remaining savings, she will pay for the wedding of her daughter.

Tulabati is incredibly grateful to SAI’s team for the continuous support they have been offering, and she is now ready to work on the next harvest.


SAI has been selected among the winners of the One Trillion Trees Challenge for its innovative solution that help to conserve and restore forest landscapes, while improving food security and boosting the livelihoods of rural communities.
Discover more about the Trafigura Foundation’s partnership with SAI here


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