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Help Coffee Farmers 

This is a high-impact project run by a local Puerto Rican non-profit. The goal is to help coffee farmers recover and thrive. Your donation will go towards grants aimed at helping farmers survive in the short-term, and training aimed at increasing incomes in the long-term. 

Organizations: ConPRmetidos and TechnoServe

Charity Navigator rating: 4/4 

Cited as the “gold standard” by leading institutions like the World Economic Forum, Time Magazine and Harvard Business School.

The problem

On September 20th Hurricane Maria destroyed 80% of Puerto Rico's coffee farms in a matter of 12 hours. For many this represented their entire income. 

The average time it takes for a coffee tree to produce its first coffee seeds is three years. And many farmers don't have the savings to endure three years without any income. There is also the risk that if these farmers don’t receive the technical assistance and financial support they need to get back on their feet, they will decide to abandon coffee farming all together and possibly leave the island. This could certainly spell out the end of Puerto Rican coffee for good.

The opportunity 

Anyone who has tried a cup of Puerto Rican coffee knows that the island grows some of the best beans in the world. But due to economic challenges and out-migration, the island hasn't been able to produce as much as the market demands. This represents a big opportunity. 

Coffee Yields

Coffee yields (Kg per hectare) by region

From 2013 to 2016, before hurricane Maria devastated the mountainous interior, coffee crops in Puerto Rico averaged a yearly production of approximately 5 million pounds of green coffee while the demand for coffee to be processed by the local roasters in Puerto Rico was approximately 24 million pounds. 

In addition, crop yields before the hurricane were much lower than comparable places. The average farm produced 475 kg of green coffee per hectare. In Colombia farmers produced double that amount, and in Brazil they produced nearly triple the amount. 

With financial and technical support coffee farmers can not only recover, but thrive. 

The Solution

ConPRmetidos, a Puerto Rican non-profit, is partnering with TechnoServe to offer grants, skills training, and access to global coffee markets. 
 

Financial assistance

After helping farmers create a coffee farm business plan, our team will provide small grants and loans to replant seeds. TechnoServe business advisors will also show farmers new ways to generate income from their farms in advance of the first coffee harvest (e.g. via short cycle crops)

Skills development 

Experts in agronomy and the coffee business will train farmers on how to use industry best practices to achieve high crop yields. This will enable farmers to understand their farms as businesses and give them the tools to make future investment decisions.

global Market Access

When local productions/yields reach healthy levels, provide market connections to coffee roasters who may wish to purchase Puerto Rican coffee for sale abroad.

The team

ConPRmetidos

ConPRmetidos' mission is to create a stable, productive, and self-sufficient Puerto Rico by:

  • Identifying innovative and sustainable solutions to community challenges;
  • Leveraging diaspora and global know-how, talent, networks, and capital in support
    of those doing the work;
  • Empowering doers to succeed and inspiring others to follow; and
  • Connecting and convening to form strategic partnerships, and the exchange of new information, models and ideas.

TechnoServe

TechnoServe works with public and private sector partners to facilitate systemic change in markets to benefit smallholder farmers and small and medium-sized businesses. TechnoServe was founded in 1968 to harness the promise of emerging technologies to develop business solutions to poverty, which is the driving force behind our mission. In 2016 alone, TechnoServe assisted more than 578,000 farmers (of which 34% women) to increase their incomes, supported 18,000 businesses (of which 58% women-led) to raise their revenues and created 18,000 new jobs, generating incremental revenues and wages of $196 million. Overall, these income sources benefited 3 million men, women, and children.

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