Benefits to Rural Communities
The Mountain Hazelnuts business model commits to generating income and improving livelihoods for rural communities, addressing the challenges of generating reliable cash flow while living in remote mountain areas. A secure income from hazelnuts will have positive spillover effects on education, gender equality, continuity of traditional lifestyles, and rural development.
Reliable LONG-TERM Income
Hazelnut farming provides an opportunity for rural farmers to generate cash in addition to the crops they currently cultivate. It is expected that by planting an average-sized orchard, a hazelnut farmer will double household income. Hazelnut cultivation is a long-term strategy: well-tended trees will produce nuts and generate income for fifty years!
Most other potential cash crops require significant upfront cash investments and bear high risks due to market fluctuations. By contrast, hazelnut seedlings are delivered to farmers at no cost. Farmers can plan their future on the basis of a 30-year contract, rather than face pricing risk on commodity markets.
SUPPORTING FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES
Most farmers express their goal of providing a better education and future for the next generation with the income from hazelnuts. Caring for and harvesting hazelnuts does not require heavy manual labor, therefore female and elderly farmers can take on this work. Hazelnut farming may offer an ideal source of income (and use of labor) for such households.