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Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.

by ESTUDIOS RURALES Y ASESORIA CAMPESINA, A.C.
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Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico.

Processing coffee to sell it at a fair price

 

Dear Donors

Since november, we have started with the coffee harvest, which will last approximately two more months. This activity will trigger the employment of people in the communities during a short season, so, all the family concentrates their work in the coffe harvest.This year, there is a very good coffee production; it has become clear that, the restoration and maintenance work that has been carried out on the agroforestry systems of shade coffee plantations are giving good results.

The contrast between the conventionally managed coffee plantations and the agroecological coffee plantations with resources from this project is remarkable. In productive terms the yields are similar. However, in agroecological coffee plantations, healthier plants and better conserved soils are observed and the production costs are lower due to the decrease in the use of agrochemicals.

The theme of this period is the production process. Coffee has two industrial transformatios after harvesting. The first one is just after harvested the coffee cherry, in which the pulp or the coffee cherry is removed and the grain is dried. At this stage a pulper machine is used; frecuently this stage needs a lot of water to wash the grain. Then, the grain is dried and can be stored in sacks for several months. The second process is to take away a film of the grain, but it is done until it will be sold to the distributor or toaster.

For many years, coffee producers have sold their coffee in cherry, without giving any added value to their production, thus the producers receive only 6% of the price that the consumer pays. Nowadays  there are growing the producers organizations that seek to appropriate the entire value chain. Several organizations have managed to open markets for small coffee producers and sell even roasted and ground coffee.

This year we are begining the first step in the value chain. 30 families have started selling quality coffee. To ensure quality we had several trainings on the wet coffee beneficiary. Although some producers have experience in pulping coffee, quality standards are increasingly demanding. Experienced producers are updating their knowledge and sharing them with the rest of the group, in which several women participate. For women, this is a new activity, since previously they did not participate in the coffee production process.

Likewise, the quality of each producer's coffee is being analyzed by a specialized laboratory through physical and flavor tests to find opportunities to improve quality.

En this stage and to continue with the agroecological process, ecological water-saving pulping machines are being tested to remove the pulp of the grain and solar dehydrators to dry the coffee.

As we informed you in the previous report, the group has already committed a part of its production, with a good price, however, we are still looking for fairer markets.

In this way, we continue to invite our donors to continue supporting this project that is allowing to find strategies for the dignified life and good living of the families of San Miguel Tlapexcatl and Limones in the municipality of Cosautlán, Veracruz, Mexico. We remind you that, due to the austerity policies of the current government, support for the peasant sector is restricted, so it is more than ever necessary the support and solidarity of independent donors, as do those who kindly already finance some actions of This project through the Gloval Giving Foundation platform.

 Thank you.

 Gabriela Guzmán

Estudios Rurales y Asesoría Campesina A. C.

 

Photos:

1. Fully Ripe Coffee Harvest

2. Coffee Processing Course

3. Ecological pulping machine

4. Pulping coffee with ecological machine

5. Solar dehydrator for coffee beans

6. Coffee samples to be analyzed

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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

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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
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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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Installing pilot solar dehydrator for coffee
Installing pilot solar dehydrator for coffee

During the last three months, the Sustainably Facing Coffee Rust in Mexico Project has focused on training and installation of solar dehydrators for coffee processing in two communities.

One of the biggest challenges faced by small coffee producers is adding value to the raw material, to retain the profits currently being earned by intermediaries in the second stage of the process. It is estimated that farmers get only between 3% and 6% of the total of economic gains in the coffee business. This situation is directly linked with the lack of knowledge of the skills required, as well as by the lack of the proper tools and equipment to carry out scaling in the supply chain to provide added value. Solar dehydrators attend this to carry out an important part of the process of grains drying, but also offers possibilities to add value to other alternate products grown in the agro-ecological coffee plantation, such as fruits and vegetables. Incorporating this ecotecnia, enhances food preservation for scarcity times and gives more commercial value to alternate products as dehydrated food.

Currently we have built two demonstrating dehydrators, and economic resources will be provided to a limited number of producers so that they can build their own solar dehydrators in their homes.

In addition, we are pleased to report that about 1km of contour hedgerows with native plants have been built for the retention of fertile soils, and it is estimated that, with this preventing erosion action, at least 10 tons of soil will be retained in the next year.

We also inform that this December we ended up planting 3 thousand native trees (fruit and timber) in order to consolidate the income diversification strategy for farmers. Planting of these trees has strengthened the strategy of giving impulse to the bio diverse shaded coffee agroforestry systems, reducing current growing trend of “Sun coffee” plantations.

We would like to invite donors who trust our proposal to continue supporting coffee producing farmers in the communities of San Miguel Tlapexcatl and Limones, in Veracruz, in its search for alternatives to face this crisis.

We send strong and supportive greetings to all and wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Sincerely

Sustainably Facing Coffee Rust in Mexico Project Team.

pilot solar dehydrator
pilot solar dehydrator
Installing pilot solar dehydrator
Installing pilot solar dehydrator
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Organization Information

ESTUDIOS RURALES Y ASESORIA CAMPESINA, A.C.

Location: OAXACA - Mexico
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @era_ac
Project Leader:
Fernando Ruiz
OAXACA, Mexico
$1,360 raised of $10,000 goal
 
28 donations
$8,640 to go
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