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Brazil: The 3rd Coffee Quality Competition
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Coffee Farmers Alliance Tanzania
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Farmer Story: Meet Jimmy Kalonga
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Tanzania: Swedish Members Of Parliament Visiting Our Project
Arusha

El Salvador

Change With An Impact: Hugo Josue Aguilar Ceseña

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El Salvador

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Trifinio

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Kota Dalam

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Change With An Impact: Hugo Josue Aguilar Ceseña

 

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The future of coffee growing lies with us, the youth of our communities. With the right opportunities, together we can work to help improve our livelihoods and the livelihoods of our families, making coffee cultivation both profitable and sustainable.”

HUGO JOSUE AGUILAR CESEñA


Working hard is one thing, evaluating the work the other. We are dedicated to confirm the positive results of our work as well as identify areas in which we can improve. That’s why CIMS (Sustainable Markets Intelligence Center) did a full great evaluation of the ICP-work in Central America and Brazil. In the series “Change with Impact” we are highlighting results, failures, and learnings.

The Trifinio Region of El Salvador is home to some of the best quality coffee in the country, with high rankings in the Cup of Excellence as well as in Tri-National coffee competitions hosted by the Mesa de Café de la Region Trifinio (MCT). Hugo Josue Aguilar Ceseña is a 26-year-old coffee farmer, who comes from a family which has dedicated over 25 years to traditional coffee cultivation in the region of La Palma, El Salvador. 

However, opportunities for youth interested in growing coffee are lacking. Typically family plots of land are small (on average from 1.5 to 3.5 hectares), with limited resources available to help farmers fully implement good agricultural and farm management practices, leading to high production costs, and low yields and farm profitability. As a result, many youth leave their community or move to a different industry.“In working to address the challenges in the region, we work with farmers, developing and strengthening producer groups, providing training on topics related to business operations and organization, agronomy, and environmental sustainability”, says Pablo Ruiz, Regional Manager from the implementing partner Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS). 

International Coffee Partner project PROTCAFES addressed challenges in the region focusing on two primary components:

  • Organizational Development: working with producers to support them in establishing farmer associations, providing assistance in developing internal operating structures and developing aggregate services for members, such as bulk sales and purchases.
  • Environmental-Productive Development: establishing models for sustainable coffee production through the adoption of good agricultural practices (such as cover crops, more resistant coffee crops, etc.), with the goal of increasing productivity and coffee quality. It is through these trainings that Hugo first started taking part in the project, learning how to monitor the implementation of good agricultural practices and other farm activities using a Farmer Field Book (FFB), recording costs, sales, and productivity levels. Following his experiences using the FFB, he also shared this record keeping system with his organization, AGASACARE de R.L.

As part of his training, Hugo learned about cupping and coffee quality, where he developed and cultivated his own skills in tasting coffee to identify quality and defects. “Now I can help my fellow farmers in identifying the type of coffee they have, which can help increase their negotiating power and status within the coffee value chain”, Hugo tells.

Hugo is a young visionary who is implementing new, innovative practices on his farm. He has a small plot of land (1 hectare), where he is growing varieties which are resistant to disease like la roya that also promote increased productivity. Combined with the use of good agricultural practices, his farm yields are now 70 qq gbe/ha - 40% higher than his family’s farm.  Using machinery for agricultural labor activities, his production costs have also decreased by 50%.

In 2015, Hugo was invited to participate in the Slow Food Conference in Milan.  During this conference, he took part in a workshop where shared his experiences as a youth coffee grower. Today, as a result of the training Hugo received through the ICP project, he continues to promote coffee quality, working as a quality control analyst, for a business which purchases high-quality coffee in the El Salvador-Trifinio region.

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