Agroecological coffee: A Decent Change for Everyone

Country: Nicaragua

Juan Hurtado lives in the community of La Pacayona, in a six-person household, including one child, in the municipality of San Ramon in the department of Matagalpa. Over the course of an 8-month period working with the Blue Harvest, he has made significant changes on the farm, aiming for a sanitary and safe way to grow, getting the most out of the resources on the farm.

In this regard, Juan explains, “…four years ago, I started to work with Fairtrade certification, which has its own requirements for growing, such as not dumping the wastewater in the river.” However, in 2015 he started to really apply water resource management practices with support from Blue Harvest that is being implemented by the UCA San Ramon in this municipality.

“On March 19, 2015, we met with some of the farmers in the community and the UCA San Ramon technician, and that is when we started to plan our activities to improve the farm with the practices that we shared in the Farmer Field School.  We started to learn to prepare and reproduce mountain microorganisms. We enriched them with micronutrients and honey water, and we applied them on some of the young coffee trees.  This has not only served to improve the health of my coffee plant, but they also produce a more solid and heavier bean. It is even good for my family’s health, because I can apply it to other crops I grow on my farm.”

These practices aim for more efficient cultivation. However, this does not only take into account raising coffee yields. It is also about reducing the risk of polluting the water that flows to the users in the lowlands of the municipality.  Juan Hurtado explains, “Some people care about protecting water, others do not. Actually, we all need to take care, so that people downstream have clean water.  This we do through better farm management.”