The Same Problems – Different Continents
I’ve just read this blog post about the devestating impact on coffee farmers by the intervention of “experts” from western agencies – in this case USAID; and it is like something I could have written myself having just returned from Ethiopia where I witnessed exactly the same problems.
Coffee farmers are encouraged to remove (or not plant) shade trees, resulting in their coffee plants becoming sun grown rather than shade grown. This results in more extreme impacts on the plants from the weather, an increased need for chemical spraying, and reduced moisture retention in the soil. So top soil washes away in heavy rain, the ground bakes hard in hot sun. It’s vital that farmers are educated about diverse and sustainable growing methods that rely more on traditional approaches combined with the best of current methods. http://www.roaste.com/CafeRoaste/News/2011/10/20/Made-Shade-Chiapas-Style-9977 … and here is a different view of the same farmers http://sigmundcarlandalfred.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/20882/