Small scale coffee farmers in Santa Barbara, Huehuetenango face yields approximately 50% lower than large scale plantations in other regions of Guatemala. This is largely due to limited familiarity with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), a lack of market knowledge and a lack of market access. This project aims to assist farmers in capturing the value from higher quality coffee with the skills required to produce consistent quality coffee in small-scale home mills. The project will organize farmers into 40 groups of 25 members. These groups will address the key issues faced by small scale farmers while building healthy market systems and service delivery models the help farmers adopt and sustain practices necessary to break the cycle of poverty. Demonstration pots will be used as sites for monthly activity-based lessons focused on practical agronomy and business skills (including record-keeping, profit and loss determination and ‘farming as a business’ best practices). These farmer groups will also be connected to local input suppliers to secure discount prices through bulk purchases. Links with Counisa/Unicafe will be fostered so that farmers receive regular feedback regarding coffee quality.
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