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.
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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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
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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
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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
$1,430 raised of $10,000 goal
 
30 donations
$8,570 to go
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