Category: Miscellanea

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

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?”

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 […]

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 […]

Innovations at Origin: Young Coffee Entrepreneurs

After reading Bloomberg’s article on cost of production and profitability for Guatemalan growers earlier this month, There Is No Money in High-end Coffee for Guatemalan Growers, I was inspired to add a few more posts to last year’s multi-article series on profitability in the Latin American Coffeelands (series begins here). I want to highlight an […]

Moving from Savings Groups to Agroenterprises

Among the questions posed in the last entry was:  What are the best ways to organize farmers and achieve economies of scale? What models outside of cooperatives may be more realistic and sustainable? Contained within the question is whether how a group is formed matters. Does the path to forming a group orientated around a business objective matter? […]

Innovations at Origin: Water Smart Agriculture–Agua y Suelo para la Agricultura (ASA)

In coffee projects around the world, best practices and increasing yields are often the lynchpin in the strategy to improve smallholder´s livelihoods. By definition a smallholder has a small tract of land, so the logic goes, that to compete they need to maximize their production. However, as smallholders know well, maximizing production often means higher […]

Innovative Models at Origin: Can selling coffee in cherry be profitable?

It is often taken as accepted wisdom that smallholders need to move up the value chain–aggregate, process, trade directly—to be competitive and profitable in the coffee industry. Smallholders who aren´t part of a cooperative with certifications, cupping labs, mills, and an export license will never break out of a cycle of intermediation and poverty. This […]