Over the past two weeks I have written about the coffee leaf rust epidemic that has decimated Colombia’s coffee production, and the response of the country’s coffee authorities, which includes financial incentives for farmers to plant the disease-resistant Castillo cultivar. I have shared the results of a survey we conducted that may bring something novel […]
Colombia’s campaign to replace its traditional coffee varieties with the new, disease-resistant Castillo cultivar has been the topic of much conversation in recent years in specialty coffee circles. What few people understand, however, is that Colombia is making coffee farmers an offer that the poorest among them can’t afford to refuse — free money to […]
The Castillo cultivar has been the subject of considerable discussion and no small amount of controversy in the marketplace in recent years. At the risk of oversimplification, the debate has been framed by two positions: that of representatives of Colombia’s Federación Nacional de Cafeteros, who insist that Castillo will thrive in the specialty market because […]
Colombia’s Federación Nacional de Cafeteros is a most remarkable institution. Among the many achievements of which the FNC is justifiably proud is its long tradition of coffee research. The Federation’s first annual budget, way back in 1927, included funding for research into coffee production and disease. In 1938, Colombia established a National Coffee Research Center, […]
At a meeting late last year with the Colombia’s National Coffee Growers Federation, I noticed a calendar on the wall declaring November “The Month of Coffee Leaf Rust Control” in Colombia. What is coffee leaf rust and why it is the cause of so much concern in Colombia?
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 […]