On The Ground
Coffee Alliance For Excellence
In 2018, TechnoServe launched a unique public-private partnership, the Coffee Alliance for Excellence (CAFE), bringing together the U.S. Agency for International Development, impact investment firm Althelia Ecosphere, global coffee roaster JDE, and coffee exporter Perhusa to benefit 12,000 farming families in Peru. Building on more than eight years of work helping families to replace coca production with peaceful futures and economies in Peru, the project targets former coca-growing areas in the regions of Huánuco, Ucayali, and San Martín, where coffee production is one of the most promising alternative development opportunities.
Over five years, CAFE will support the coffee sector by providing farmers with training on best practices for planting, rejuvenating, harvesting, and carrying out post-harvest activities for their coffee, and it will also strengthen producer organizations and other actors to help farmers access better markets and earn a higher price for their product. By improving coffee livelihoods, CAFE will support farmers to continue – and even expand – their coffee holdings rather than returning to coca production.
Central to the program is the professionalization of coffee farmers through the Coffee Farm College (CFC), which was originally launched in 2007 and subsequently tailored for and improved under various TechnoServe coffee programs in Africa and Central America. Guided by regional agronomy and adult-learning experts, and by the results of farmer needs assessments, CFC provides intensive agronomy training in Good Agronomic Practice and Climate Smart Agriculture in addition to other necessary life skills, such as gender equity, financial literacy, and sustainable land use. As in all TechnoServe projects, CAFE promotes gender equity and inclusion in all of its activities to ensure the benefits of training and other program activities are equitably distributed between among enterprising women and men.
Promoting Economic Development in San Martín, Huanuco and Ucayali
In 2010, TechnoServe partnered with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in a seven-year initiative to support the Government of Peru’s efforts to transition smallholder farmers from producing coca to cocoa in vulnerable regions of Peru. The Economic Development Alliance for San Martín aimed to accelerate the transition of San Martín, Peru into a sustainable, legal, and prosperous economy, increasing employment and incomes while promoting good stewardship of natural resources.
After three years of successful execution, the program extended its area of focus to the Huanuco and Ucayali regions. In partnership with the U.S. Agency for International USAID, the PIMCO Foundation, the Peru Opportunity Fund, the Weidemann Foundation, World Cocoa Foundation, and other public and private partners, the program promoted good agricultural practices among an expanded geography of cocoa growers. The program also included a business accelerator that identified entrepreneurs with the potential to develop successful businesses related to cocoa.
By developing these industries and linking farmers to better-paying markets, TechnoServe provided farmers with an economically viable transition to licit, prosperous livelihoods. The Alliance assisted more than 28,000 farmers – more than 40 percent of Peru’s cocoa producers – and helped participants to improve their yields by an average of 32 percent, generating more than $45 million in increased revenue and wages.
September 18, 2019
In San Martín, Peru, coca used to dominate the landscape. Now, through the Coffee Alliance for Excellence (CAFE) program, farmers in former coca-growing regions are learning how to improve their livelihoods through coffee.
July 11, 2019
In San Martin, the Apahuit cooperative is working alongside TechnoServe and their farmer members to implement simple, ecofriendly techniques that boost their cocoa yields, improve incomes, and fight deforestation.
May 23, 2019
Kyle and Katina Connaughton, owners/operators of SingleThread Farms, recently traveled to Peru through the Chefs for Change initiative – a program that connects the world’s best chefs to smallholder farmers in developing countries.
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