GlobalGiving Report September 2021
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico. (29075)
Moving from shade coffee plantations to an agroforestry system
In the last report, we communicate you that we were going to make a transition in our work. We want you to know, the reason of this transition.
Six years ago, after the rust infestation in coffee plantations, project participants felt that it was necessary to diversify farms to increase biodiversity and also to increase the species that supplement food and income. In this way, the habitats for the local fauna and flora are expanded, the environmental services offered by a diversified productive system enlarge, and the dependence on coffee as the only source of income is broken.
Since then, year after year, thanks to the support of numerous donors, various fruit trees and timber trees have been planted in coffee plantations. One of the results of the evaluation we did of the 2020 work was to make an assessment of the diversity in the farms at this moment and the uses that are being given to introduced trees.
In this trimester we carried out a diagnosis and the results show that within the farms there are 18 forest species, several of them with good quality wood to make furniture. There are also 12 different species of fruit trees. The harvest of most of the fruit trees has already begun and they are used for family consumption; therefore, the diet is enriched with vitamins and minerals. As for forest trees, they are mostly also used for boards, poles, to improve the production unit and housing. As well, these trees are also used for firewood to be used in the wood-saving stoves that were introduced in this project.
In this assessment, it was also found that there is no forest culture that allows the use of forest species that already exist on farms and in the community. There are six elements that do not allow to develop this line of work: 1) It is not known how to calculate the amount of wood of a tree, and, therefore, there are no elements to put a price on a standing tree. Some families have lost customers interested in buying them. 2) There is no experience in the demolition of trees without affecting the coffee bushes. 3) The price at which they sell the wood is low because they do not have the documentation established by the forestry authority. 4) There is no clarity about the woods appreciated by buyers. For example, there is confusion between white cedar, Cupressus lusitánica; pinkcedar, Cedar Acrocarpus fraxinifolius; red cedar, Cedrela odorata and walnut cedar, Juglans pandriformis. 5) There is no experience in collecting seed from trees to make nurseries. 6) There are non-timber species such as the plama camedor that do very well in certain niches and have a good market: there are just a few people that cultivate them
Based on this assessment, training in the following issues is proposed for the coming months:
1. How to calculate the wood of a standing tree
2. Differentiate the trees and their types of wood and their prices
3. Official requirements for harvesting wood in small quantities
4. How to cut timber trees without affecting coffee plants
5. Seed harvesting and forest nurseries
In the following report we will share the progress in these issues
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