USAID and ofi partner on $8.1m fund for coffee farmers

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Coffee ofi Peru Sustainability Organic

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and ofi (olam food ingredients) are promoting more sustainable coffee production in Peru with a joint investment of $8.1m.

Both climate change and the pandemic have created uncertainty and challenges for coffee farmers.

The new fund will help smallholder farmers transition from conventional production to organic production; increase productivity; and improve product quality. These certifications help farmers enter premium markets and thus remain competitive despite international price volatility.

“This partnership with USAID allows us to upskill more farmers to produce higher quality beans that will qualify for specialty markets, where prices are higher and more stable,” said Prashant Jalan, senior vice president, coffee, at ofi – which already engages with 10,000 coffee smallholders in the country on sustainability programs.

“We rely on structured collaboration to scale up our impact and for roasters and other customers, it offers an opportunity to engage with partners on the ground to help drive their own sustainability agendas.”

Junín focus

Peru is the largest exporter of organic coffee: but coffee production is uneven across the country. The fund will target the region of Junín: where there is inadequate access to inputs and a lack of technical and managerial capacity - which in turn creates significant production constraints, according to the partners.

The project wants to reach 1,000 farmers and their families over a five year period, hoping to achieve:

Some work is already underway, with the installation of wastewater treatment systems on 250 farms, distribution of 150 solar dryers, and farm financial assessments conducted with 100 coffee producers.

  • Increased productivity from training on sustainable and organic farming, GAP (Good Agricultural Practices), and quality testing
  • Improved profitability from training on bookkeeping and better farm management
  • Access to quality and differentiated markets with post-harvest processing workshops and equipment, including solar dryers, composters, and wet mills
  • Improved health and well-being with medical screenings and nutrition education to reduce malnutrition rates and anemia in young children and pregnant women.

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