Over the past decade, the U.S. government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to help Colombia eradicate coca production. The campaign has eliminated millions of acres of coca and been the source of considerable debate. Opponents charge that aerial spraying — a controversial approach to eradication employed only in Colombia — has displaced farmers, […]
My colleague Jefferson Shriver is an advisor on issues of agroenterprise and climate change for CRS programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. He is based in Nicaragua, where he has lived and worked on-and-off for the better part of 20 years. Over that time, he has collaborated with many of the country’s leading coffee […]
My first job with CRS back in 2002 was a one-year fellowship. I was one of 15 fellows who were assigned to different countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. I didn’t know it at the time, but my assignment to the Philippines was a lucky break: there I worked with Paul Hicks, who has […]
There are many water-efficient technologies currently in use by farmers selling their coffee into specialty markets. And there are some good reasons why there is still a relatively modest embrace of those technologies. What will it take for more farmers to “blue” their post-harvest processes?
In the development projects I have been involved with, some of the best thinking is done in the car, during the countless hours spent in long rides to and from the field. Or in the evenings after a day with farmers, which invariably educates and provokes new ideas. When I was working on the […]
Last week, El Salvador’s president announced a federal program to subsidize the renovation of the country’s coffee fields by replacing aging coffee trees with seedlings. It is a rare and welcome case of government investment in region where the phrase abandono total (no translation necessary) is the most common answer I get from smallholder coffee farmers when I ask them about state support for the coffee sector. (The timing couldn’t have been better — days later Tropical Storm Agatha rolled into Central America, destroying coffee and other crops and creating an immediate need for renovation.)