Monday 22 July 2024
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LATIN AMERICA – November launch of NCBA CLUSA coffee stabilization project in El Salvador

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NCBA (National Cooperative Business Association) CLUSA and its funding partner, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), will co-host the November 14 launch of a monetization project in El Salvador, the proceeds of which will restore coffee crops and stabilize coffee production in the Latin American country.

Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts (D) is expected to attend the ceremony.
NCBA CLUSA and its partner will monetize 20,000 metric tons of hard red winter wheat and 8,725 metric tons of soybean meal over 4 years to bolster the coffee value chain and expand the trade of agricultural products. Specifically, the “Coffee Stabilization Project” will:

  • Improve agricultural techniques and technologies for coffee and diversified products
  • Build capacity of government institutions and producer organizations/cooperatives
  • Increase access to financing and improved inputs
  • Increase value of post-harvest products and access to markets through improved quality, increased efficiency, and improved marketing and market linkages

Representatives from NCBA CLUSA, USDA, USAID, the Coffee Association of El Salvador, the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador, the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Center for Agriculture and Forest Technology, other government agencies, members of the private sector, and numerous local producer co-ops are invited to the project launch.

“The launch is an opportunity to celebrate NCBA CLUSA’s work in El Salvador with partners and supporters as we look for greater expansion of our work in the region,” said NCBA CLUSA president and CEO Michael Beall, who will speak at the event. “We’re very excited to be back in a larger way in Latin America, a place where we’ve done a lot of work historically,” he added.

NCBA CLUSA’s work in Latin America began in 1963. Early programs in El Salvador helped cooperative farmers sell $34 million in agriculture commodities. The organization’s “CLUSA de El Salvador” provided technical assistance and training in agriculture production, procession, and marketing. NCBA CLUSA currently operates the USAID-sponsored Farmer to Farmer program in the country.

El Salvador remains on NCBA CLUSA’s radar because it plays a significant role in regional coffee production. The country was also one of the hardest-hit by coffee rust in Latin America, a coffee plant killing disease that jeopardized the livelihoods of thousands of rural households who depend on coffee production.

Coffee rust weakens coffee trees, compromising the quality of the next season’s coffee berries and dramatically reducing yield, if not destroying the plant altogether. Neighboring Guatemala declared a state of agricultural emergency in 2013 after the fungus destroyed 70 percent of the national crop.

A recent meeting between NCBA CLUSA and the ambassador of El Salvador to discuss co-op trade opportunities was positive, Beall said. “He’s very interested to see the outcomes of this project to restore coffee that has been blighted by coffee rust.”

The “Coffee Stabilization Project” will work with 7,500 producers, 50 producer organizations and cooperatives, along with government agencies and the private sector in Apaneca-Ilamatepec, El Balsalamo Quezaltepeque, Tecapa Chinameca, Cacahuatique, Chinchontepec and Alotpec-Metapan. The program will be implemented by NCBA CLUSA and CLUSA El Salvador as primary sub-recipient.

“This project comes at the right time. The farmers will greatly benefit by this value chain fortification,” said Stanley Keuhn, NCBA CLUSA’s Regional Director for Latin America, in anticipation of the project launch.

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