Alleviating poverty in Peru through improved coffee yields

Coffee farmers in Northern Peru have been facing a repeating poverty cycle stemming from low yields and low incomes, that over time has begun affecting their family stability. The soils of the region’s steep slopes have been severely depleted in nutrients, preventing farmers to reinvest in their crops.

From 2012 to 2015, IPNI joined forces with several fertilizers companies and social agencies to fund the Programma Familia (PF), with the objective of improving the quality of life of Northern Peru’s coffee farmers. Families joining the programme were offered agronomic training from IPNI’s staff, inputs and financial credit without interest. The benefits of the Programma Familia were threefold: First, by making inputs like fertilizers available to farmers and teaching them about balanced fertilization and site-specific nutrient management, their yields and profitability increased rapidly.

Second, the programme showed several environmental benefits: as coffee plants started to grow more vigorously and their fruit yield increased, farmers could recycle the additional biomass or pulp, back into their fields, which increased soil organic matter and steadily restored the fields’ soil heath.

Last but not least, the Programma Familia’s also actively contributed in the improvement of the farmers’ quality of life, by assisting them in building improved infrastructures, installing electricity on farms and enhancing schooling, all of which was possible thanks to their improved household incomes.

Read more about the project here and here.