The project ‘Strengthening the Competitive Route of Specialty Coffees in Nariño’ arises within the framework of the ‘Competitive Routes’ program of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, with the support of the European Union, and is being implemented in the municipalities of Arboleda, Buesaco, Taminango, San Lorenzo and La Unión.
In the project, the Local Development Agency, ADEL, works three axes: environmental, productive and sociocultural. The environmental axis seeks that farms produce coffee optimizing efficiently their resources. It is necessary to understand the importance of different organic waste, such as coffee pulp and honey waters, which with good technical management can be used as fertilizers for the same crops, leading to sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.
In this same sense, the project also prioritizes actions to improve the productive process by providing permanent technical assistance, through which producers access technological and innovative knowledge and tools to improve the quality of their coffee.
In this sense, it is proposed to work on the commercialization component,
for which potential buyers are sought, providing relevant advice so that coffee growers can access better price offers and positively impacting their income, receiving grants for quality coffees and improving the price of lower quality coffees,
such as currents or pasillas. “Before, we had to throw away the pasilla because they would not buy it, it was left on the ground and that hurt us, but now with the knowledge we have, it is very different, things are done much better, which has generated additional income,” said Rosaura Arciniegas Narváez, leader of one of the families linked to the project.
Equally important, we have the sociocultural component of the project, which promotes the strategy of replicating good practices that are advanced in the selected farms; this is all about sharing the acquired knowledge with their neighbors, reaching a perspective of local territorial economy construction.
“ The project itself is a model that was agreed with the producers, according to the particular needs of each productive unit,” explained the engineer Luis Eduardo Ramírez, technical coordinator of the project.
“ We, the coffee farmers, in order to get a special coffee, must make a great effort in the whole productive process, from the crop, with a good harvest, a good profit, a good drying in which the temperature is controlled and a good storage, and thus, many times we do not have an income that rewards the effort involved in delivering high quality coffee. This makes the project special, fair trade”, explained Arcesio Pinchao Narváez, coffee grower.
On the other hand, Rosaura invited the young coffee growers to keep on going, to stay in the field, “ there is a lot of youth who leave the field because they may have little experience in growing coffee. My message is to tell them to study, but to return to the field, because the field is very nice, in the countryside you live better and you should not be ashamed to be peasants, on the contrary, be proud of being born in the countryside. The future of the cities is in the countryside and its youth,” said Rosaura firmly.