The Blog

How healthy soils lead to great coffee

How healthy soils lead to great coffee

At the RENACER coffee school, we promote sustainable farming practices that are proven to increase yields, and we train farmers how to select coffee for quality. All this has led to increased incomes for farmers. Double the yields and double the price, and we quadruple incomes for many farmers.  From experience, we know that healthy trees produce […]

The Unique Challenges of Investing in Agriculture

The Unique Challenges of Investing in Agriculture

Agriculture and trade & finance have a necessary but strained relationship. This is not surprising since trade and finance are often dynamic, short-cycle, growth-oriented ventures, whereas, farming the land to produce food, fiber, and fuel is an arduous labor, seeking incremental gains, requiring patience, and a humble acceptance that the next drought, pest outbreak or […]

Industry Initiative: The Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide

Industry Initiative: The Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide

‘Why is the specialty coffee price set to the C price and the not cost of production?’ The  role of the C price, the coffee commodity price used as a  global benchmark,,, has been the subject of much debate for the coffee industry, especially in Specialty Coffee circles. Coffeelands itself has dedicated much ink to the issues […]

Madagascar Cacao Program featured on USAID PSE Blog

Madagascar Cacao Program featured on USAID PSE Blog

The TSIRO (Thriving/Tangible and Sustainable Investments for Land Restoration and Economic Opportunity) Alliance is the first HEARTH award worldwide. HEARTH (Health, Ecosystems and Agriculture for Resilient, Thriving Societies) is a Global Development Alliance where USAID and the private sector work together to develop and implement market-based approaches to solve development challenges. TSIRO is a unique program, bringing development […]

Market Monitoring across the Humanitarian-Development Nexus: Linking the COVID Market & Supply Chain Monitoring Experience in Lesotho to Livelihoods Programming

Market Monitoring across the Humanitarian-Development Nexus: Linking the COVID Market & Supply Chain Monitoring Experience in Lesotho to Livelihoods Programming

Multiple Uses of Market Monitoring Market monitoring is often considered primarily a humanitarian sector activity, where price and food security information helps identify potential red flags requiring changes to targeting or valuation of cash and voucher assistance or direct food deliver, often built around Minimum Expenditure Baskets. However, market monitoring has a multitude of uses across […]

Highlighting an Article: “Is sustainable vanilla the flavor of the month?”

Highlighting an Article: “Is sustainable vanilla the flavor of the month?”

Time for another quick entry here to spread the word about a recent article on sustainable vanilla production, from GreenBiz.com, entitled “Is sustainable vanilla the flavor of the month?” The article takes a quick look at some of the key issues in vanilla production: eliminating child labor, traceability, and price volatility. Given the low volumes purchased […]

Market Systems Development in Ghana

Market Systems Development in Ghana

According to USAID, ‘Market Systems Development is a body of international knowledge, guidelines, good practices and lessons learned that provide a more effective, sustainable, and beneficial way for poor people to develop their capacities and improve their lives. Indeed, Market Systems Development has proven a critically important tool for working with markets to better serve the needs of […]

Agroforestry and coffee in Madagascar

Agroforestry and coffee in Madagascar

While we often hear about lemurs, vanilla and other spices when talking about Madagascar, we don’t always think about coffee. However, Madagascar has been a long-time producer of coffee – both arabica and robusta which is mainly bought, sold and consumed in local markets. You will find coffee in almost any local market, and usually […]

Cacao Agroforestry Systems – A Cost Benefit Analysis

Cacao Agroforestry Systems – A Cost Benefit Analysis

Building on Dan McQuillan’s Coffeelands Blog series on issues surrounding farm profitability, I want to shift a bit to the world of Cacao and highlight some work coming out of CRS’ Allianza Cacao program in El Salvador. Agroforestry approaches, increasingly promoted globally, present a complex set of challenges for evaluation – with so many interrelated variables, what is the […]

New USAID Report on Private Sector’s Role in Sustainability and Scale: 5 key takeaways from the Enduring Results Study

New USAID Report on Private Sector’s Role in Sustainability and Scale: 5 key takeaways from the Enduring Results Study

The recently released Enduring Results Study 3.0 led by CRS takes on a task that few projects have the luxury of doing – it takes a retrospective look at project outcomes two years after funding has ended to evaluate drivers of sustainability and scale. Drawn from 29 USAID partnerships with the private sector, the ERS 3.0 is […]