Jun 12, 2018

Sustainably facing coffee rust June 2018 report

Raw coffee cherries
Raw coffee cherries

In last months, our project has taken action aimed at strengthening the capabilities of the participants.

Thanks to your generous support, we have begun to implement the strategy of the coffee processing, seeking to increase the final value of the farmers product, which currently amounts only about 4%; the rest is taken by buyers, roasters and final sellers. The price of a quintal of coffee (36 kg roasted) in the region is $1,500.00 pesos, while the selling price to the public of each kilo of coffee is nearly five times higher ($180.00 per kilogram) and 60 times greater when sold as a cup of coffee in a cafeteria. However, in the coffee-growing regions the majority of producers sell their product without added value. For this reason, one of the main objectives of the project is to provide producers of capabilities to transform their product and thus advance in the appropriation of added value.

During the past few months we have initiated a series of training courses. The first workshop was held with the participation of about 50 producers and was conducted by Mr. Clemente Santiago Paz, an expert coffee producer, who carried out extensive training from the harvest to the process called beneficio húmedo (wet mill processing), in which treatment is given to harvested coffee beans, retaining qualities that guarantee an excellent cup of coffee..

A second course was held with the accompaniment of Mr Joel Cadena, member of the Regional Council of the coffee, who trained some of the participants in the wet and dry milling with zaranda (sieve) techniques. This drying technique, decreases production costs because no fossil fuel is used during the process and brings important qualities to the harvested grain.

Another strategy we have consolidateded during this time is the meliponiculture. This effort has meant a process of learning with tripping but also with achievements. For this process we are advised by the Organization Inana A.C, who provide constant advice to participating colleagues and observe the evolution of 25 nests of wild bees in the two communities where we work. We have made observations of nests to verify its development and noted that most have adapted well to the new environment. However, we have lost 3 nests, same which were received in poor condition so that they did not survive the winter. On the other hand, most of the living nests have increased in more than half its weight and the first harvest of some of them will be in the following months.

Finally, participants who have vermicompost production modules, have recently been advised by the engineer Eligio Ruiz, who has attended the two communities to check the condition of these vermicompost modules. Mr Ruiz has given recommendations on the needs that have weaker modules and remembered the care that participants must provide to be able to reap the benefits of earthworms breeding. On the other hand, coffee producers expressed his approval by the use of the leachate of vermicompost applied to the coffee farms, where the strengthening of plants, the less rust infestation and overall improvement in production is notorious, thanks to the nutrients included in this solution.

We thank all our donors for the confidence to support these actions to benefit coffee-producing families and invite you to visit us and send us your comments, criticisms or suggestions.

Best regards

Zaranda drying technique
Zaranda drying technique
Virgin honey ready to be harvested
Virgin honey ready to be harvested
Observing coffee quality
Observing coffee quality
Checking Vermicompost condition
Checking Vermicompost condition
Opened Bee hive
Opened Bee hive
Mar 12, 2018

Sustainably facing coffee rust March 2018 report

Covering pots with blankets to protect them
Covering pots with blankets to protect them

Dear donors.

We have started this year reinforcing two of the new clusters we shared with you in the last report: community melliponiculture and vermicompost practices

Community melliponiculture: During January and February we gave special attention to the hives we bought with your generous support. It was a raw winter and we had to design a strategy for care of the native bees. With the assistance of agro-ecological Meliponarios Network we made an initial diagnosis about the health conditions of the hives. We checked inside boxes and pots and defined a strategy of careful actions to perform depending on the particular conditions of every nest. We classified the hives in 3 types: strong, with chances of surviving the winter and weak.

From 27 hives women received in custody, we fed 8 hives with honey and pollen and covered clay pots with blankets so the cold will not affect breeding. With flowering in mid-February and March hives recovered health entering food by themselves.

Vermicopost

Each year about 20 families are incorporated to organic fertilizing practices. The first year, first concerned participants received training from a technical specialist and a stock of earthworms (Eisenia andrei) was bought. In the three subsequent years the trained members have been those who established their module of worms and are also stock donors for new participants. With some of the donated funds, roof sheets were acquired for roofing of the module as well as the plastic to collect the leachate for use as a foliar fertilizer. This year, several producers expanded their module to provide a greater amount of leachate and solid fertilizer.

As discussed it in the previous report, the use of this fertilizer combined with bio-fertilizers which are also produced in the community, reduces the effect of rust in coffee plantations and decreases the amounts of chemical fertilizers on farms.

High qualitycoffee

One of the important activities for this beginning of the year was to prepare the conditions to offer quality coffee to buyers. A small group of coffee producers put into practice the learning acquired in the first workshop about quality coffee at the end of last year. There are already interested buyers in this first batch of quality coffee. This step is important because it marks the start of a process from being simple cherry coffee sellers to become industrialists and sell already-processed coffee. We are aware that this is a long and difficult road to cover, but we are decided to get our first results at the end of this year, once the harvest season gets started again.

Handcrafted soaps

Finally, an agreement has been signed with the Universidad Iberoamericana to get assistance from 4 teams of marketing students which will help two coffee women groups with this complementary economic activity.

We thank you for your collaboration on this project and are waiting for questions, comments and suggestions

Best regards

Preparing containers of wax to feed to the hive
Preparing containers of wax to feed to the hive
Vermicompost 3
Vermicompost 3
Vermicompost 4
Vermicompost 4
Dec 11, 2017

Sustainably facing coffee rust Dec 2017 report

Vermicompost
Vermicompost

Since last November when we started the fundraising campaign we have achieved $1,094.00 to date.

With part of these funds we have given impulse to the community meliponiculture cluster, acquiring six more hives of native bees (Scaptotrigona Mexicana) for a total of 27 hives delivered into custody to equal number of families. Our strategy is to combine individual production with the collective stingless native bees management training by participating within the Agroecological Meliponiculture Network (REMA) which gathers more than 10 beekeeping houses in Veracruz and Puebla.

Communitary meliponiculture cluster seeks to incorporate stingless bees management into communitary dynamics thus influencing ecological balance by providing ecosystem pollination services while helping to strengthen population health by making accessible products derived from bees such as virgin honey, pollen and propolis.

Another cluster that has been favored by donations received is the production of organic fertilizers derived from earthworms (Eisenia andrei). This cluster strengthens the agro-ecological capacities of participants replacing the use of agro-chemicals with liquid and solid fertilizers for coffee farms. As many participants have mentioned "Uses of vermicompost, as well as Bokashi fertilizer have proven themselves not only nurturing the plant, but controlling the infestation of rust thus producing more coffee with less money". So far we have established more than 30 vermicompost modules which will increase by 50% with recent donations.

We want to thank all our donors for the trust shown to date and reiterate our invitation to continue collaborating with us in order to preserve the shaded coffee plantations which are endangered by the rust disease and to which we remain committed as it is an important reservoir of life on our planet.

Bee hives
Bee hives
Bee hives house
Bee hives house
Vermicompost 2
Vermicompost 2
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.