Sep 12, 2018

Sustainably facing coffee rust, Sept 2018 report

Poultry workshop
Poultry workshop

This brief report recounts some of the actions carried out with resources raised by this platform and with those obtained by the Organization in other ways. We are in the process of reviving the promotion of project activities, therefore we consider that participation in GlobalGiving Foundation fundraising platform will be essential to support the efforts of training and implementation of the actions to impact on the social fabric strengthening and preservation of the environment.

During the last quarter the actions taken as part of the project continue as normal thanks to the funding achieved so far and by the commitment and dedication of the participants from both communities.

Efforts to deal with coffee rust have focused on the realization of the cultural work for the maintenance of the diverse shaded coffee agroforestry system, accompanied by the systematic application of various bio-fertilizers including microorganisms incubation of both, the “biols” and leachates of vermicompost, made with local resources and donations obtained from this platform to strengthen the infrastructure needed to produce them.

Application of bio-fertilizers and leachates of vermicompost serve two main functions: the first has to do with the fight to coffee rust, because it has shown that application has a positive effect on health and nutrition of the plants and, hence, on the health of the coffee agroforestry system. The second function is the decline in using chemical fertilizers on the soil (avoiding this way of polluting soil and water), lowering production costs and ensuring the health of those who apply them.

On the other hand there are now 30 families who will receive materials for the construction of vermicompost containers, as well as a half kilogram of earthworm eisennia andrei. In the first days of October the training process will begin with the farmer to farmer methodology, since participants who already have their worms will facilitate the workshops. It is expected that at the end of October these 30 modules will be operating.

Another activity we still maintain is the monitoring of actions aimed at strengthening the meliponiculture. Last three months monitoring has been conducted to verify the health of native bees cores that are sheltered from families in the community. In general we are pleased to announce that the majority of nests are in optimal health conditions and have increased their weight in around 1.5 kg per core, which is an indicator of the early adaptation of these bees to a new environment.

Finally, we have begun the process of training and introduction of poultry as an alternative to achieve food self-sufficiency of families. Workshops about the necessary minimum care required for these animals were given in that process. In these workshops we dealt with topics on houses building and on the development of low-cost feeding. So far they have been produced 200 kg of food for 40 families and continuous production is expected.

Participating community
Participating community
Growing food produts
Growing food produts
Melliponiculture farmer to farmer training
Melliponiculture farmer to farmer training
Growing vegetables
Growing vegetables
Participating women
Participating women
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
 
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