OFI has partnered with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to offer a joint investment of $8.1 million to promote sustainable coffee production in Peru.
Smallholder coffee farmers in the Junín region of Peru will receive the investment, which aims to support productivity and livelihoods. The funds will help to strengthen extension services, infrastructure, certification, training and access to premium markets for 1,000 smallholder farmers over a five-year period.
The partnership aims to bolster training on sustainable and organic farming, GAP (good agricultural practices) and quality testing. It will also provide access to markets with post-harvest processing workshops and equipment, including solar dryers, composters and wet mills.
Finally, the joint investment looks to improve health and wellbeing through medical screenings and nutrition education to “reduce malnutrition rates and anaemia in young children and pregnant women”.
Some of this work has already begun, with the installation of wastewater treatment systems on 250 farms, as well as 150 solar dryers distributed and farm financial assessments conducted with 100 coffee producers.
Prashant Jalan, senior vice president of Coffee at OFI, said: “In the context of the ongoing climate uncertainty and the pandemic, a traditional crop like coffee now has an even more important role to play in uplifting Peru’s producers”.
He continued: “OFI already works with more than 10,000 coffee smallholders in Peru through sustainability programs. This partnership with USAID allows us to upskill more farmers to produce higher-quality beans that will qualify for speciality markets where prices are higher and more stable.”
Jene Thomas, USAID Peru mission director, added: “…By helping these farmers qualify for organic and sustainable certifications to facilitate their entry into premium markets, the partnership will enable them to remain competitive despite international price volatility, thus increasing their incomes and motivating them to continue to pursue licit livelihoods.”
The balance of $500,000 will be awarded to Olam Agri as a sub-grant to provide education and training to 350 quinoa farmers in Peru’s Ayacucho and Apurimac regions.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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