Improving Farming Methods

One of the most harmful pests to coffee plantations, the coffee borer beetle can attack an entire yield of berries if no control is applied. Due to the impact of climate change, the tiny insect is thriving in warmer temperatures, which poses increasing challenges for Peruvian farmers.

Coffee co-operative CECAFE has developed an eco-friendly way of controlling the borer beetle at their Centre for Innovation in the Amazonas region of the Andes.  The surrounding area provides a dense and humid rainforest ecosystem located at high altitude, ideal for the combative fungus known as Beauveria Bassiana.  The co-operative will distribute it to farmers, to help protect the ecosystem and increase coffee yields.

The project also supported CECAFE to establish their own infrastructure for the production of organic compost. The compost was produced using local materials including cow manure, rice husks and coffee pulp.

Sold in 50kg bags to the farmers at the low cost of 10 USD per bag, farmers also have the option to purchase the compost with cash or via CECAFE’s credit scheme. When this project began, producers could purchase commercial compost for 20 USD per 50kg bag. Over the past 12 months, the cost had almost trebled. CECAFE General Manager José Elmer Sánchez told us that, without this compost scheme, the majority of farmers would not be able to afford organic fertiliser. CECAFE is already reinvesting the income from the sale of compost to establish a second production site so that more farmers can benefit.

This project is funded by Shared Interest Foundation donations.

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