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Subject: Green Orchard (Walnut) for Poverty Reduction and Environment Protection

Oliver Liu (Oliver Liu)
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Date Posted: 07/27/10 9:25
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The Problem:
poverty, global warming

The Social Invention:
I am working with two international foundations to help villagers in poverty in quake areas of Sichuan province, China to set up green orchards. The project aims to achieve two goals – poverty reduction and environmental protection. Walnut trees are chosen because they adapt well to different climate, yield for decades, live a very long life, and are good performers in carbon sink. The villagers are required to pay forward the gift of saplings to another village when they get out of poverty in a few years, which will multiply the total number of trees planted, and the accumulated carbon sink effect. The project is designed to be win-win, and has been enthusiastically welcomed by the villagers, local leaders, and the charity foundations.

To ensure the success of the project, I am co-founding a social enterprise to conduct market researches, monitor sapling quality, provide technical service on orchard management, and help villagers to sell fruits/nuts. The social enterprise will charge a fee for the services.

I believe this model will help people in need if it is implemented somewhere else in the world, and would like to share it with like-minded people. Details of the project are available to interested parties.

Suggestions are welcome to further improve the project and the business model.

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