In many Arabica producing countries, productivity is below 500 kilograms per hectare- an amount that is barely economically sustainable for coffee growers. Many varieties and agricultural practices that increase yields and or quality remain on the shelves of libraries and in offices in Ministries and Research institutes. Others are simple agricultural practices that producers many times find laborious without obvious and quick returns and therefore are reluctant to apply. Finally, many technologies are known by producers to increase yields, quality and income but access to the technology is lacking, e.g. new varieties, fertilizers and Integrated Pest Management strategies. In order for WCR research to impact supplies of quality coffee, the WCR will form strategic alliances in key countries with appropriate NGOs, Foundations, Bilateral assistance organizations, Private companies and Credit groups to insure, through appropriate “extension services, the new technologies get to the farmer and deliver returns on higher productivity and profit. These Accelerated Productivity Enhancement programs (APE) will be tailored by country in order to realize their maximum benefit and produce transformational change.
For each country strategically selected, we would set up an APE on ten farms that represent diverse production systems around the Variety Trial location. The APE would consist of a simple comparison of a new variety with the farmer’s current variety AND necessary fertilizer based on soil tests conducted pre-installation. Farmers would be involved in business/economic comparison of new technological package compared to existing/old one. Forecasting of return on their investment would be done for decision making. Farmer demonstrations would be conducted to expand beneficiary breadth. Farmers who decide to go with new system would be supported by access to credit through the APE.
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