Final thoughts on Food Security Solutions
The Food Security Solutions event has ended, but it is my hope and expectation that its impacts will make themselves felt in coffee communities throughout the Americas for years to come. Nearly two dozen farmers and partner staff from CRS-supported cooperatives in the CAFE Livelihoods project participated in the event. If my conversations with them are any indication, the event will have been a very worthy investment.
The four two-day workshops offered at the event — family gardens, mushrooms, organic fertilizer production and beekeeping — are all highly relevant to smallholder coffee farmers and naturally complementary to coffee agroforestry systems. The facilitators were leaders in their respective fields and, from my perspective, people really rolled up their sleeves and dug into the content (literally, in some cases).
It may take some time to assess the impact of the event. But I suspect a year from now cooperatives that participated in the event will have projects in one or more of the areas identified above where they did not before. Meantime, Sustainable Harvest as the event coordinator and Green Mountain as its primary funder deserve an enormous amount of credit for taking a decisive step to address the vexing issue of hunger in the coffeelands.