After just three years, the project is showing impressive results through its local efforts. Smaller farms in particular have made visible improvements. With the first harvests from new plantings, better plant care and the targeted use of fertilizers, annual harvests have risen by up to 80%. Even in 2016, 43% of participating farmers had better harvests than before, and in 2017 this figure rose to 87%. A positive effect can be observed in the income expectations expressed by the coffee growers.
The environmental awareness of H.E.L.P. project participants is also measurably higher. It is now common practice to use seeping pits or sand filters for the pulp left over from wet processing of the coffee beans, to avoid polluting streams with it. In 2017, through the efforts of H.E.L.P. 94% of small farmers dug these simple filtration pits.
Erosion prevention is another important sustainability step, preventing soil from washing off hillsides. Instead of costly terracing and contour planting, with the assistance of H.E.L.P. agronomists, vegetative barriers have been planted, which also increase the amount of mixed cultivation in the area. Half of the coffee growers have implemented this measure, raising the diversity of tree species near their plantations by 58%.
H.E.L.P. boosted harvest quantities significantly in the first years of operation, and it has also helped greatly improve the quality of the coffee taken to market. In this area even small changes have made a big difference.
The construction of sun dryers proved to be the most effective measure in raising coffee quality, and their use has more than doubled since project launch. This has greatly reduced the amount of undried (>12% moisture) and so lower-quality coffee. To further reduce this amount, H.E.L.P. is continuing to invest in the production of sun dryers.
In the next five years, H.E.L.P. will work with Olam agronomists on these goals:
New farm centres
Business cost awareness
Higher raw coffee quality
Better infrastructure, for example school expansions
On these pages you will receive regular updates on all new developments from H.E.L.P..