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Better business and environmental practices one family at a time in Peru

agriculture-peruEduar is 28 years old. He works as a nurse and lives in Milagro, Santa Rosa, about 2 hours from the city of Bagua Grande, capital of Utcubamba in the Amazonas region of Peru, where his family grows 20 acres of coffee.


Eduar belongs to one of the 360 families participating in the farmer field school courses as part of the project “Promoting Competitivity of Coffee and Cocoa Producers in Bagua and Utcubamba Provinces,” being implemented by AVSI with funding from the Italian-Peruvian Fund (FIP). Through the courses, Eduar has learned about the many aspects of agricultural production, including technique and management, business development and strategy, which motivated him in 2012 to join the CEPROAA regional cooperative of small agricultural producers in Amazonas.


The project focuses on 110 families who grow either coffee or and 250 who grow cocoa, all members of the CEPROAA cooperative. It aims to strenghthen their skills to help increase crop production and sales income, with the ultimate goal of improving their quality of life and that of the whole community, providing indirect benefits for 8,250 other growers in the implementation area. The topics covered in the courses also include water conservation and environmentally sustainable practices.


peru-eduar-coffeeEven with the knowledge gained from the courses in the project, the decision to grow coffee on a section of land close to his house faced another obstacle: the plot is situated on a hill that is difficult to access, and contains no water source. With some technical advice from the project experts, Eduar was able to put together 400 meters of tubing to carry water from the holding tank near his house to the field.


From the lessons on the proper use of water, Eduar was able to set a precise schedule for the best times and frequency to irrigate his coffee plants for the best harvest. Rather than using the more common method of processing and selecting coffee beans that uses a large amount of water and can cause pollution of the groundwater through run-off, Eduar and his family build an in-house specially-designed tank that minimizes these harms.




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