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Building a Solar Coffee Dryer for Buena Vista

 

Farming families know that higher quality coffee receives a higher market price. Simple technology like a solar powered coffee dryer can make the difference between a coffee receiving an average rating and a very high-quality rating (84 points and below vs 84.5 to 90 points). A community-owned solar dryer can benefit many farming families and a larger community. This fall, we are partnering with USC (formerly Unitarian Service Committee) Canada to raise $6k ($10k with USC) to build a solar coffee dryer for the community of Buena Vista, Intibuca, Honduras. We are raising money through the sale of our Buena Vista Fundraiser blend.

About Buena Vista

Buena Vista is a small community of 312 people (106 women) located in the Cordillera de Montecillos mountain range, at 1790 meters above sea level. The local economy is centered around the small-scale production of grains and coffee. The new dryer will be owned and managed collectively by the local CIAL (farmer-led research team) for the benefit of the community of Buena Vista. It will be used primarily by the 19 women and families that are members of the CIAL, but will also offer services to other Buena Vista farmers.


This project was inspired by the remarkable success of a Communal Solar Coffee Dryer that was recently built in the nearby community of Campanario II, as part of USC’s work supporting women’s agroforestry and coffee production. Ester Lopez Gutierrez (pictured on the label inside her community’s solar dryer) and Jeidy Morales are two women who sold their coffee at higher prices because of their careful attention and access to a communal solar powered dryer. 

 

               

 Ester Lopez Gutierrez                       Jeidy Morales standing next to her proud father

                

About the Coffee

Our Buena Vista Fundraiser blend is a delightful everyday cup with toffee and almond notes and a big chocolate finish. We chose a blend of coffees grown by 8 women farmers in Marcala from the COMSA co-op. The women of Marcala enjoy higher quality premiums for their coffee and can provide mentorship. The coffee was from a late harvest because of some uncommon seasonal temperature changes and irregular rainfall delaying the main harvest by a few weeks. Despite these setbacks, the hard work and impeccable farming practices of these women produced a phenomenal coffee with a strong sense of place.

 

About USC Canada

We are very pleased to collaborate with USC on this important coffee project. USC works with farmers around the world to strengthen their ability to grow food sustainably, using locally adapted seeds. By harnessing the power of good seeds, farmers’ leadership and global solidarity, they help communities thrive. USC local partner FIPAH (Foundation for Participatory Research with Farmers in Honduras) works with small-scale farmers in the hillside areas, helping them to build food security and sovereignty through participatory agricultural research and collective action. Special emphasis is placed on promoting the leadership of women and youth. FIPAH proposed building a Communal Solar Coffee Dryer in Buena Vista because it has seen, first-hand, the positive impact that such a dryer can have in a community.

Posted in: blog , coffee , featured1 , Honduras , women

October 03, 2018

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