International Coffee Partners (ICP) Projects

Location:   Brazil, Trifinio, Indonesia, Tanzania, Uganda

Project Overview

Brazil

In Matas de Minas, in the region of Manhuaçu, 30 important entities (including COPASA, EMATER, Instituto Terra, Municipalities, Rural Labor Unions, Universidade de Viçosa) have come together to coordinate the implementation of a management plan for the Rio Manhuaçu watershed. In partnership with International Coffee Partners and IDB/MIF we form part of the management committee and link our support activities to the overall landscape development plan.

In addition to promoting good agricultural practices and strengthening the farmers’ access to markets, the project supports the protection of springs, reforestation and compliance with Brazilian environmental law (demarcation and protection of protected areas and legal reserves), treatment of residual waters, erosion control, the establishment of windbreaks, and adaptation to changing climatic conditions.

The project joins the efforts of the Matas de Minas Coffee Association Council to build a brand that gives value to farmers’ efforts in the region and endorses the high-quality coffee they produce.

Trifinio Region of Central America

Located in the tri-border area of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, the Trifinio Region is a key coffee growing region in Central America and a biodiversity hotspot. Since 2007, Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung has implemented International Coffee Partners projects in the Trifinio Region of Central America. In the Trifinio Region of El Salvador, the first phase of the project worked to establish farmer organizations and strengthen the implementation of climate-smart agricultural practices. The second phase, implemented between 2014-2019, focusedon the development of institutional training and support within the sector, including the establishment and strengthening of the coffee round-table, the Mesa de Café de la Region Trifinio (MCT). The MCT is a multi-stakeholder platform for all actors within the coffee value chain, including producers, farmer organizations, the three national coffee institutes of each country and the Trifinio Commission.

Building upon the success and advances to date, the new project works to promote sustainable climate-smart landscapes in the departments of Ocotepeque, Copan and Lempira, located in the dry corridor of Honduras, through the implementation of and scaling of Climate-Smart Agricultural practices, the promotion of inclusive farming family businesses, and the development of strong farmer organizations  to improve member services, commercial relationships, and market access. The project will contribute to improved, more sustainable livelihoods for smallholder coffee farming families  through improved productivity via diversified production systems while increasing their competitive position within  the coffee value chain.

The project partners with the Tri-national Commission of the Trifinio Plan (CTPT), the tri-national body which oversees regionally development, including the Plan Maestro (Master Plan), a participatory effort which aims to increase understanding of current social, environmental and economic conditions and support the creation of tri-national development strategies. The project also works closely with the Honduran National Coffee Institute (IHCAFE), promoting a coordinated national climate and environmental coffee policy while contributing towards the development of a first climate-smart region in Honduras. Project activities are also complemented by Euroclima+ – a joint program implemented together by IHCAFE and HRNS, currently implemented in the dry corridor of Honduras.

Indonesia

Our interventions in the region aim to make coffee farming more economically viable, environmentally sustainable, and climate change resilient by improving farming practices, increasing coffee yields, introducing innovative climate change adaptation strategies, building, and strengthening farmer organizations, and increased access to markets, finance, and other vital goods and services.

Up until now, 21 farmer organizations have established their own group saving- and credit schemes and 15 of them elected their own marketing managers amongst them. These numbers are growing every month. Thanks to these first and second tier organization structures, the organizations managed to bulk market 100Mt of their coffee and directly sell it in Bandar Lampung, which is at least 10 hours’ drive from the producing areas. By training farmer groups on quality and providing market access, the farmers avoided the usual selling to local middlemen, resulting in better margins.

The latest update is that the first farmers have received a loan carrying about 6% interest rate per year, whereas lending from middlemen would give an interest rate of about 130% calculated over a full year.

Tanzania

Against this background, the project “Coffee Farmer Alliances Tanzania” (CFAT) is implemented in the northern regions of the country, in Arusha and Kilimanjaro, as well as in the southern region of Mbeya.

What are we aiming at?

With the objective of improving farmers’ livelihoods, a focus is put on the increase of on-farm income, achieved by strengthening agricultural production. Through the adaptation of good agricultural practices, farmers could increase their coffee yields by 60%, from 250 kg to 400 kg of clean coffee/hectare. At the same time, the establishment of well-managed commercially oriented and farmer-owned farmer organizations capable of providing essential services to their members is facilitated by the project. These farmer organizations act as partners in the development process and gradually take up the role provided by the project to ensure long-term sustainability. The project puts the farmer and his family as well as the farmer organizations at the center of the development processes. The farmers’ commitment and ownership are essential to effectively and efficiently achieve long-term systemic improvements and change.

Uganda

The project in Kasese, Uganda, aims at supporting the development of about 8,000 farmers and their families in Western Uganda, in order to raise their competitiveness on the basis of professional and sustainable Arabica coffee production. This initiative will be linked to the “Building Coffee Farmers Alliances in Uganda” (CFAU) Project which already addresses about 35,000 Robusta coffee farmers in other locations in Uganda, also supporting them in improving their coffee production, marketing and access to other key services.

There are five focal areas of intervention which the project activities are addressing:

  1. Establishing and strengthening farmer organizations and linking them to the Uganda Coffee Farmers Alliance as the Apex organization;
  2. Increasing production and resilience to climate change following the approach of the initiative for coffee & climate;
  3. Enhancing coffee quality by improving post-harvest processing and handling
  4.  Increasing market access through bulk marketing and stronger bargaining power.
  5. Addressing gender equity for enhanced joint planning and decision making at the household level.

To date approx.10,000 farmers have been trained on  Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and have been organized in 10 Depot Committees (second tier farmer organizations). This has created a more conducive and enabling business environment for further developing their agricultural production. More than 160 “Change Agents” are currently actively promoting the idea of gender equity to their communities, reporting about this in self-assessments that are shared every 6 months.

Ethiopia

The activities of the C.A.F.E.-project in Ethiopia are focussing on a holisitic approaach including improvement of production and farm management, increasing commercial capacities of farmer organizations and increasing food and nutrition security.

Farmer Field Schools will be set up to reach a minimum of 2.500 smallholder families. And at all stages of the project the role of gender inclusion is playing a crucial role and youth will be get a special attention.

The project is implemented in cooperation with the Austrian Development Agency