Honduras Education Life Project – A J.J.Darboven / OLAM Project
Helping due to joy of life!
Coffee has always meant zest for life to J.J.Darboven. And anyone who would like to really enjoy it also thinks about the quality of life of the people who produce the coffee. Together with OLAM, a globally active supplier of raw materials whose activity is defi ned by a high sense of ethical, social and ecological responsibility, J.J.Darboven is establishing a long-term promotional project for 250 coffee farmers in Honduras in the 150th year of its company history. The project is called “H.E.L.P.” (Honduras Education Life Project). Improvements in almost all areas of production and living conditions shall be achieved with assistance for self-help.
H.E.L.P. has chosen San Nicolas as its location and put together and trained a professional project team consisting of agronomists. The work is supported by an internationally experienced adviser, Michiel Kuit. The enthusiasm at the first information events was great, and numerous coffee farmers registered.
While visiting all project participants the project team gained important knowledge about the actual state. They showed the project participants eff ective methods for the rejuvenation pruning of coff ee plants, and soil samples were taken in all locations in order to determine how the respective soil productivity can be improved.
The project team investigates the overriding problems in every single operation. Individual development plans, with which not only technical production, but also social and environmentrelated improvements shall be achieved, are prepared afterwards. Objectives and improvements of operational sequences in daily operation which are achievable on a short-term basis ensure and strengthen the motivation of participants. The importance of better school education became very clear in the consultation sessions up to now. That is why H.E.L.P. is planning additional activities in this field.
Increase in productivity – also by utilisation of sustainable cultivation methods
Providing basic knowledge of business management
Promoting economic initiative, particularly of women
Facilitating access to serious fi nancing opportunities in order to enable investments
Improvement of hygiene standards and occupational safety
Raising the educational level and opening a perspective for the next generation
Small areas, low yields
Señorita Paz took over a 1 hectare coffee plantation from her father. She hopes to attain a yield of about 670 kg. She is dedicated and willing to learn, but not really acknowledged by her father. The family is indebted to a middleman and has to pay off the loans year after year with the harvest. Alternative financing opportunities through H.E.L.P. would create leeway for improvements. Yolanda hopes that in contrast to some other heralded aid projects, H.E.L.P. will really work.
Señor Izaguera farms an area of 1 hectare and hopes for a harvest of 450 kg – well over double the yield would be possible! He hardly has any knowledge about the cultivation of coffee. Processing and drying the coff ee takes place in his dwelling. By taking part in H.E.L.P. he gets professional advice through the project team, and as the first short-term measure he gets the opportunity to use a transportable sun dryer for better drying outside his house.
Señora Sogastume produces about 600 kg of coffee on an area of 1 hectare in an extreme hillside location. She definitely has experience in cultivation, but does not act in an economically viable manner and hardly has an overview of costs and yields. A substantial increase of the harvest would also be possible with her, and Señora Sogastume expects advice and assistance from H.E.L.P. in order to attain certification and thus a better price for her coffee.
The interest in H.E.L.P. is great. Instead of the planned 250 coffee farmers, 277 coffee farmers are now taking part in the project and using this opportunity to enter into a better future. And H.E.L.P. will not disappoint them. In addition to the continuation of ongoing activities, among other things a model farm will be set up in the next step in order to also practically demonstrate to participants what they have learned in theory.
H.E.L.P. IS A PROJECT FROM