Project Launch: 8-21-17
Since 2016, the village of Cerro Naipe, exclusively inhabited by the native Embera people, has been tirelessly working on a large-scale agroforestry project focused on coffee. With the help of GEMAS, a Panamanian NGO, the community has seen the cultivation of 15,000 coffee trees on 30 hectares of land in just the last two years. For farmers in rural Panama, coffee production is a sure and effective way to generate income. The community group, ACCORNACEN, has successfully managed the project so far and hopes to see the fruits of its own labor and take advantage of the financial potential that could be garnered by selling coffee.
The community seeks to acquire a machine that can peel coffee beans as well as rice and corn. Rice and corn are main staple crops in the community, and having a peeler that could process both would not only lead to further business opportunities, but would also greatly ease the laborious and time-consuming job of peeling rice and corn by hand. A prospective coffee and rice processing business would not only create multiple jobs but also lead to long-term, sustainable economic growth in Cerro Naipe.
Project Update: 3-19-18
Thirty-eight members of ACCORNACEN has been trained in business management practices, constructed the peeler location, and has been trained on how to use the machine. On February 28, the community purchased and transferred the peeler to Cerro Naipe from Torotrac in Torti.
Final Report: 8-6-18
This project was able to train community members in sustainable business practices. All thirty members of the artisan group applied what they learned from business trainings to their work and have adjusted their pricing to reflect the time they spent working on their product. Additionally, the project provided the community with a rice and coffee peeling machine that not only added value to products but also gave them more time to focus on business management. With the time saved not peeling by hand, many women and men have been able to focus on other activities such as artisan work. Three of the coffee farmers with harvestable coffee have added value to their products this year due to the peeler, and two have sold locally. In a year when most of the coffee producer's coffee is ready to harvest, the machine will be helping many families generate more income.
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