International Coffee Partners (ICP) Projects
Location: Brazil, Trifinio, Indonesia, Tanzania, Uganda
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/
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.
The Trifinio Region is located in the tri-border area of three countries: Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. This region is ecologically unique and considered as one of the world’s hotspots in terms of biodiversity.
In close partnership with the Comisión Trinacional del Plan Trifinio and international organizations such as Costa Foundation, Nestlé, Tchibo, TFO Canada and Tim Hortons we are working to improve the economic, environmental and community conditions of the coffee growing regions in Trifinio.
The Trifinio program is a joint effort of international and local partners to support smallholder coffee farmers in the production and marketing of coffee. The goal of the program is to improve family incomes and reduce the impact of coffee farming on the environment.
In addition to the field efforts, the project facilitates the stakeholder group “Mesa de Cafe Trinacional”, working towards a regional coffee strategy. The process relies on the leadership of local farmer organizations, the Trifinio Commission and the coffee organizations ANACAFE (Guatemala), IHCAFE (Honduras) and PROCAFE (El Salvador).
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.
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.
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.
- Establishing and strengthening farmer organizations and linking them to the Uganda Coffee Farmers Alliance as the Apex organization;
- Increasing production and resilience to climate change following the approach of the initiative for coffee & climate;
- Enhancing coffee quality by improving post-harvest processing and handling
- Increasing market access through bulk marketing and stronger bargaining power.
- 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.