Innovations at Origin: Water Smart Agriculture–Agua y Suelo para la Agricultura (ASA)

In coffee projects around the world, best practices and increasing yields are often the lynchpin in the strategy to improve smallholder´s livelihoods. By definition a smallholder has a small tract of land, so the logic goes, that to compete they need to maximize their production. However, as smallholders know well, maximizing production often means higher […]

Post #6: Innovative Models at Origin: Can selling coffee in cherry be profitable?

It is often taken as accepted wisdom that smallholders need to move up the value chain–aggregate, process, trade directly—to be competitive and profitable in the coffee industry. Smallholders who aren´t part of a cooperative with certifications, cupping labs, mills, and an export license will never break out of a cycle of intermediation and poverty. This […]

Innovative Models at Origin: A Territorial Approach to Communal Land Management and Income Diversification

Coffee farmers across origin countries search for and develop innovative business, production and management models as they seek out profitable and sustainable livelihood strategies. These interesting and diverse “solutions in process” enjoy varying degrees of success. Sistema Comunitario para el Resguardo y Manejo de la Biodiversidad (SICOBI), whose model is a blend of territorial management, […]

A Case of Two Coffeelands and an Unexpected Conclusion

Although the Mesoamerican Coffeelands (Central America and Southern Mexico) are a relatively compact geographical region, they contain a diversity of coffee production systems—agroecologically and organizationally. CRS has ongoing programming with community groups in Oaxaca (one of whom, SICOBI, will be highlighted in a subsequent post), farmer groups in San Marcos, and groups in Zacapa and […]

Analyzing Farm Profitability: Land Equivalency Ratio and Gross Profit

To address the drivers of migration- debt/prices and climate pressures- highlighted in the last post, we need to consistently seek to gain a deeper understanding of farmer livelihoods. CRS used the Land Equivalency Ratio tool during the last agricultural cycle to analyze the economics of coffee-based agroforestry systems in San Marcos, Guatemala. Land Equivalency Ratio […]