The Nicaraguan Platform for Sustainable Coffees (NICAFES) has officially launched with support of the National Alliance of Nicaraguan Coffee Growers (ANCN), Utz and Belgian development organisation Rikolto.
These three primary partners will work together with 35 organisations related to the coffee sector, including growers, cooperatives, exporting companies, academic institutions, service providers and input suppliers.
Next steps for the platform include a sector diagnosis that will be used to identify main needs and areas of focus. A legal analysis will also help the platform to elaborate governance and institutional context of the sector, in order to create a functional, efficient and inclusive National Plan for the Transformation and Development of the Coffee Sector that will cover 2018-2021.
Aura Lila Sevilla Kuan, President of the ANCN and coordinator of NICAFE`S committee said: “Climate change is one of our strongest challenges. We need a national policy to address this issue.”
These organisations will contribute to address these topics. Fausto Rodríguez, from Rikolto, stated “together these actors will support with technical assistance, financing projects for development, especially focused on climate change resilience.“
Juan Francisco Martínez, UTZ Nicaragua, indicated, “The main challenge of NICAFES is to unify efforts from public and private coffee sector. This will only be possible through a dialogue amongst relevant actors.”
The platform aims to address key topics that challenge the Nicaraguan coffee sector, such as profitability, climate change, gender, child labour and workers.
Between 2011/2012 and 2013/2014 Nicaragua’s coffee production was reduced by 11 per cent due to leaf rust according to a Central America Special Report, published in May 2016 by FewsNet (Famine Early Warning System Network and the Regional Cooperative Program for the Technological Development and Modernisation of Coffee Cultivation, Promecafe.
Today, Nicaragua produces 2,773,430 45-kilogram bags of parchment coffee.
Around 44,519 growers cultivate 145,000 hectares, according to Promecafe, with yields of around 19 45-kilogram bags of parchment coffee per hectare. In 2017, 6 per cent of total UTZ certified coffee (15,841 MT) came from Nicaragua.
During 2016-2017 crop, coffee income was US$432.9 million, US$84.5 million more than the previous year.