Partnering officially with the Government of El Salvador last week, NCBA (National Cooperative Business Association) CLUSA signed a memorandum of understanding with the Salvadoran Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to support coffee farmers in crisis.
When signing the MOU with Oreste Ortez, El Salvador’s Minister of Agriculture, Stanley Kuehn, Director of NCBA CLUSA’s Coffee Rehabilitation Project, noted that the agreement would unite efforts to support El Salvador’s coffee sector, making official the partnership started in October 2015.
“The work done by organizations like NCBA CLUSA will provide El Salvador with the short, medium and longterm benefits that coffee farming families in our country are hoping for,” Ortez said, noting that NCBA CLUSA had greatly contributed to agriculture in the country.
NCBA CLUSA, with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is currently working with coffee co-ops in the country to rehabilitate their farms after coffee rust decimated up to 80 percent of coffee crops over the past several years. The Coffee Rehabilitation Project has put the environment at the forefront, working with co-ops to make the switch to organic production.
Under the partnership, NCBA CLUSA has provided technical assistance and field training for the Ministry of Agriculture’s CENTA Café technicians, a division of the ministry recently formed and dedicated to coffee.
The project has also supported the Salvadoran Coffee Council, recently sponsoring one of their managers to attend the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Conference in Atlanta this past month, getting El Salvadoran coffee in front over 10,000 attendees, including importers and roasters.
The project has partnered with local co-ops, coffee organizations like the International Women’s Coffee Alliance, banks for agricultural financing, and now the Government of El Salvador.
By spearheading these partnerships, NCBA CLUSA is leading the fight against coffee rust from all angles, ensuring not only that coffee trees regrow, but also that there is a strong marketplace when the coffee is ready for harvest.