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Nov 25, 2019

Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico

Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico

 

(july-september 2019 report)

 

Dear Donors.

During the previous months we have continued to work despite the lack of financial income that will help support our project, but not reducing our enthusiasm and desire to continue working towards the construction of a better world.

The coffee harvest cycle has practically begun, which is why the tasks performed during the first months of the year will be reflected in a good harvest. In this regard we have been working for our coffee production company to market part of the harvest of this cycle. We have signed an agreement for the sale of at least 100 quintals of quality and organic parchment coffee with the Cooperativa Campesinos in Lucha Agraria, with whom we agreed a base price of 2,400 Mexican pesos per quintal of conventional coffee, as well as 3,000 Mexicans pesos per quintal of organic coffee. These prices are higher than those of the local conventional market, which pays around 1,500 Mexican pesos per quintal. On the other hand, during this month, progress will be made in the construction of solar dehydrators that have not yet been completed and that will serve to dry the coffee beans of the next harvest.

We have worked on the monitoring of native honeycomb nests, particularly those that were divided during the previous months, observing a good development with very good harvest and division expectations for next year. It will be important for fellow participants to participate in the care that is required during the coming cold months to prevent these bees from dying and staying until the next stage of flowering, around the month of December.

The women team that currently operates the microenterprise for the production of handmade soaps, shows interest in continuing to see this initiative grow. It is important to mention that the acquisition of the raw material, such as the oils and fragrances with which the soaps are made, has been hindered, so that in some cases the production of some of our production has stopped. However, this does not represent a loss because there is always supply of most of our presentations. On the other hand, during the following months the team will carry out the necessary actions to promote the products. At this stage, we will look for a partner outside the community that is responsible for marketing our products due to the limitations imposed by distance from urban centers. Likewise, social networks will be used to promote the products. There is already a page on Facebook, Instagram and in the following months we will begin upload information about our products and company.

We hope to continue actively counting with your support to implementing useful and necessary proposals in rural to respond to the crisis emerged from rust infestation and other factors that we continue combating.

Thank’s

Jun 28, 2019

Sustainably Facing Coffee Rust, June 2019 Report

Dividing a melipona nest
Dividing a melipona nest

During last quarter, in Sustainably Facing Coffee Rust in Mexico Project, we have focused our efforts mainly in a) the processing of coffee beans to make them available on the market, b) the division of native bees nests, c) experiencing the drying of fruits from the region and d) introducing a new cosmetic alternative product to be produced by women groups.

Coffee beans processsing. Quality coffee process was completed. It was a very short harvesting season due to the high temperatures. Processed coffee samples are being analyzed to assess their quality and to identify areas that may influence to improve the quality of the coffee in the next cycle 2019/2020.

Solar dehydrators. Tests are underway to dry regional fruits currently left in the field, to take advantage of the installed capacity during the season where there is no coffee. We have tested dried banana, mango, mamey, turmeric, ginger and tomato. Dehydrated products which have had greater acceptance are mango, banana, turmeric and ginger. However experimental drying and shelf tests are continuing to improve the process.

Native bees. The most important management stage in hives (the division of nests) was initiated. An experienced meliponas keeper trained 28 partners to identify which nests are susceptible of division and harvest of honey, and which others should expect the nest for a higher growth. Transfering was also made to make all the hives at INPA/Atzalan box because it is the one which facilitates handling of the beehives, without affecting the nest or bees and allow a stable inside temperature throughout the year.

In this process, a team of promoters who participated in all Works was formed to develop capacities and ensure that producers with skills to solve nest problems are present in every community.

Women groups. We continue with the production and sale of handmade soaps as a way to generate income for women. Increasingly, the members of the group are assuming more responsibilities in the sale of their products. In this quarter the group grew and joined a new product, the repellent for mosquitoes, which has had great acceptance in the Limones community.

Thank you for your trust and support to this project and look forward comments and suggestions from you all.

Melipona box
Melipona box
Training workshop on Meliponas management
Training workshop on Meliponas management
Mar 15, 2019

Sustainably Facing Coffee Rust, March 2019 Report

Coffee fruits
Coffee fruits

Dear donors.

During this quarter, the project has focused mainly on coffee harvest, as well as on the processing of coffee  beans to make them available on the market. In this regard, the current harvest season was still marked by a low production, gradually recovering from rust infestation. On average, between 4 and 6 quintals per hectare were collected this season, compared to the average of 15 quintals that were collected previously. However, thanks to the management of the shade coffee through agroecological techniques, a minimum production was achieved that, nevertheless, promises quality in the final product. Proof of this is that VIDA AC (the organization which is the marketing link for the coffee producers), has committed to buying 31 quintals (aprox. 2 metric tons), 11 of them for the organic coffee market and the rest to the special coffees market.

Another important work was the beginning of the construction of two solar dehydrators models in both communities, which will be tested to dry coffee during this season, as well as to dehydrate other products such as fruits and plants in seasons where there is no coffee harvest. The technical advice is in charge of Leonel Jiménez, who has sound expertise in the implementation of different ecotechnics, including solar dehydration. In both communities there is an advance of 80% in dehydratator model construction, and materials have been delivered so that those who are interested can reproduce it individually.

On the other hand, the first stage of adaptation of the native bees that were introduced to the two communities was completed, and six transfers were made from clay pots to technified boxes to facilitate the handling of this type of bees. This work was supported by colleagues from the allied organization INANA, who have extensive experience in the management of native American bees. In the next few days we will begin the first stage of harvesting honey, pollen, wax and propolis, and in the same way we will proceed to make nest divisions in those cases where the conditions allow it.

We reiterate our gratitude to the donors that have made part of these actions possible, and we encourage them to continue collaborating with ERA A.C. and the residents of San Miguel Tlapexcatl and Limones, to strengthen these initiatives that seek to minimize the devastating impacts of coffee rust and work for the environment sustainable management and conservation and for the improvement of the quality of life of the inhabitants of this region.

Transfering meliponas from clay pots to boxes
Transfering meliponas from clay pots to boxes
Evaluation of harvested Good quality coffe
Evaluation of harvested Good quality coffe
 
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