Author Archives: Hugh Aprile

Knocking on Coffee’s Door: Cocoa’s Case as a Coffee Farm Alternative

2016-04-22 Comments

In previous Coffeelands posts we have written about the importance of diversifying smallholder coffee farms as a hedge against falling coffee prices, low coffee productivity resulting from disease (such as coffee leaf rust) and other factors. Diversification into other crops such as nuts, plantains and fruit, among others, also helps to ensure that a farmer […]

Analyze This: Getting to Know Soils in the Coffeelands

2016-02-24 Comments

A farmer must know his or her soil. I mean, really know it: what lives in it (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, etc.); what’s decomposing in it and how much (organic matter); how hungry it is (for certain types of nutrients); if it needs a drink or needs to dry out (moisture level); and how it’s feeling […]

Coffee Supply Chain’s Hidden Heroes

Hollywood loves a good comeback story.  So when I think of the struggles of a coffee community in Honduras called Opatoro, I can’t help but think of them in terms of a Hollywood script.  The pitch might go something like this: In 2012, Dunia Martínez, newly elected mayor of Opatoro in rural Honduras, began receiving […]

Coffee ground: The importance of soil health

In my last Coffeelands post, as part of our tribute to the International Year of Soils, I promised to seek out experts in the area of soil management and coffee production and to share their invaluable insights with you.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to look far.  My colleague, Luis Álvarez Welchez, knows soil and coffee.  […]

Soil Management: Coffee Digs Good Dirt

2015-04-30 Comments

When you think of UN resolutions (if you ever spend time thinking of UN resolutions that is), what probably comes to mind are some of the world’s most intractable conflicts, such as Syria, Iraq or the Congo.  The UN, however, can also use these resolutions in order to educate the global public.   This was the […]