| GATE - 2/95 - Reducing risks for small coffee farmers |
Gate June 1995
The coffee market - a risky business
How to compensate fluctuating coffee prices
Coffee quality; about its roots, appreciation and improvement
Appropriate technology in the production of quality coffee
Jamaica: environmental solutions to coffee wastewater
The other kind of coffee: fair trade and organic farming
Organic coffee marketing furthers development: experiences of colombian small holders
Greater transparency- better cooperation: experience with participative impact monitoring In Bolivia
Courses and meetings
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Editors: Peter Bosse-Brekenfeld Barbel Roben Print, distribution, advertisement: Societats-Druck Frankenallee 71-81 D-60327 Frankfurt Federal Republic of Germany
Cover photo: Processing coffee in Tanzania- the crude coffee passes through the washing channel.
Photo: Reinhard Woytek
Focus in this issue: Reinhard Woytek
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Coffee comes second to crude oil as the most important exported raw material on the world market. About one third of the coffee beans traded world wide are produced by some 15 million small farmers and their families. When, in 1992, the coffee price dropped to its lowest level since 1950 these small farmers had to bear income losses of up to 60%. The economic research institutes forecast that following 1994's boom, coffee prices will again rise by 24% in 1995. But a drop of some 13 % is already looming for 1996. The enormous price fluctuations are the chief cause of small farmers difficulties.
This issue's Focus inquires into how small coffee producers can reduce their risk factor in the coffee business. An overview of the situation on the free world market puts forward two ways for farmers to stabilise their income: by producing high-quality coffee and by actively participating in the different steps of processing and marketing, e.g. by joining together in cooperatives. Another way of becoming less dependent on fluctuating coffee prices is to introduce a more diversified cropping system. An overview of the different processing methods is followed by a presentation of a combined coffee pulping and water mill in Tanzania and a report from Jamaica describing environmentally friendly ways of using wastewater from coffee.
Just as in the marketing of raw coffee via the "fair trade" system, the cultivation of organic coffee can help reduce dependence on world-market price fluctuations. Organic coffee is becoming a more and more attractive prospect. A report from the small farmer cooperative in Colombia shows how organic coffee growing can contribute to community development.
How small-scale producers can stabilize their income
by Michael Opitz
The international coffee market is plagued by highly fluctuating prices. Sudden drops in prices can jeopardise the livelihood of small coffee farmers. Ways of cushioning this risks nevertheless exist.
Coffee is the most important agricultural commodity. In international business two species are distinguished: Arabica coffee and Robusta coffee. Arabica coffee accounts for cat 75 % of world production and Robusta reaches a level of approximately 25 %. According to quality characteristics, coffee in the Arabica group is further classified into three major categories: "Columbian Milds", "Other Milds" and "Unwashed Arabicas".
Coffee is usually an export crop
About 96 % of coffee is traded as dried and hulled green coffee beans. Only approximately 4 % is exported as soluble coffee , while not even 1% is exported as roasted coffee. 25-30 % of the coffee production remains m producing countries to cover the domestic market. The export market is dominated by Brazil and
Colombia, which together account for a market share of 40 %. About 85 % of the world's coffee crop is imported by the European Community, Scandinavia, Japan and the USA.
Total world consumption is estimated at about 95-97 million bags (60 kg) per year. The World Bank forecasts slight increases in demand for the future in the order of 1% per year, emerging primarily from increasing demand in the countries of Eastern Europe and Asia where coffee consumption has steadily increased in recent years. Consumption figures of about 100 million bags per year seem to be feasible for the end of the century.
History of the coffee market
Consumer preferences and the growing purchasing power in the wake of advancing economic development were the major boosts to the expansion of coffee consumption. The profitable prices were at the same time an incentive for producing countries to promote coffee growing. However, the increasing supply puts prices under pressure. In order to limit the production and to support prices the major producer and consumer countries got together to agree on regulative measures within the International Coffee Agreement (ICA).
During the period from 1963 to 1989 four subsequent coffee agreements were in force with only three years of interruption. But the quota system, which was a vital component of the agreements was not able to provide guidance on harmonising production and demand. Misleading information to producers based on artificially high international product prices together with minimum price policies at national level in some countries lead to excessive coffee production.
After the suspension of the quota system prices declined causing a disincentive stimulus to producers in many producing areas. Consequently coffee fields were managed less intensively and in many cases plantations were abandoned trees were eradicated and replaced by more remunerative crops. Prices have now recovered from their lowest levels and the producing capacities are starting to build up again.
The producer cartel
Today, the coffee business is characterised by free market conditions. In the absence of any global regulating scheme however the ACPC (Association of Coffee Producing Countries) was founded in 1993 with the aim of reducing stocks in consumer countries by artificially cutting the volume of available coffee. The cartel comprises 28 countries who together produce 85 % of the coffee traded worldwide.
The most significant interim result of this retention of stocks has been the price increase of cat 250 % from about US$ 0.50/lb (the lowest level of the last five years) to US$ 1.30/lb.Whilecoffeeprices increased further during 1994 following the incidence of two severe frosts and a subsequent extended drought period in the major producing areas of Brazil, retention is still being discussed as a long term measure to moderate the impact of price cycles, also to the benefit of the farmer.
How the coffee business works
In the international coffee market the supply side comprises the official marketing organisations and private exporters, whereas the demand side is formed by the roasters. The link between the two sides is usually established by the trade.
There are two different kinds of deals within coffee business: Physical business and (non-physical) futures markets operations. Physical business means the sale and delivery of coffee ex-stock at an agreed date for shipment. The sales and purchase contracts both state a specific quantity of coffee, at specific conditions.
The futures market deals do not trade coffee as a physical good but in form of contracts and documents. The contract agrees the sale or the purchase of a certain quantity of coffee of a specific quality and at a fixed date in the future. In contrast to the physical business, coffee traded as a futures deal is not delivered to the purchasing party. Each deal will usually be compensated prior to the date agreed for delivery, i.e. a sales contract will be followed by a purchase contract for the same quantity of coffee.
Future markets reduce the risk
These future contracts stated in standardised quantities and qualities are traded at the two most important soft commodity exchanges in New York (New York Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange - NY CSCE) and London (London Futures and Options Exchange- London FOX). The quotations are for "Mild Arabicas" in New York and "Robustas" in London.
Future markets operations are a major opportunity for companies participating in the physical coffee business to reduce their commercial risk. For example, a trader who purchases coffee and only sells it after a long time period, bears a great risk of declining prices and may incur severe losses. A counter-balancing futures deal at the respective exchange, i.e. sale of the same quantity of coffee at the present price level at a future date absorbs the impact of declining prices. By the month of delivery the sale is equalized by a purchase contract which will be available at a lower price level. Ideally, the loss within the physical business will be compensated for by gains in futures operations. This kind of deal is known as hedging.
International coffee prices
Coffee prices are determined by the ratio of supply to demand. While demand is rather stable, supply is characterized by certain fluctuations. Coffee as an agricultural commodity is subject to varying yields levels due to climatic factors, production cycles, frost, drought, pests and diseases, intensity of care etc., all factors which make supply and, hence, prices generally less stabile. The attitudes of the participants in the coffee business, who, for example build up or release stocks and speculate on the market, also contribute to price oscillations.
On the coffee market, times of over supply and low prices are followed by periods of relative shortages and higher prices. These quite uncertain trends in coffee prices generate economic risks for producer countries and are also considered detrimental to consumption.
International coffee prices are composed by two factors: the quotations at the different exchanges and the differential.
Quotations at the coffee exchanges are determined on the basis of supply and demand for futures contracts. The prices, therefore, represent the expected availability of coffee in the future, which in turn is an attempt to anticipate harvests, the influence of political decisions, the development of consumption etc. Speculative operations also contribute to keeping the quotations rather volatile.
Coffee to be traded at the exchanges has to meet certain quality standards such as specific grades and number of defects. Quotations are fixed for a precise standard quality, and all other commercial qualities are priced with a premium or discount against the standard quotation. This is known as the "differential". The effective differentials also reflect important aspects of operative business e.g. the demand for and the physical availability of specific qualities throughout the year, costs of delivery to the exchanges, transport and logistical ease, etc.
Prices in producer countries
Within producer countries, it is again the ratio of supply to demand which determines the prices within a given region.
The price is made up of such factors as the cost of production, the value of the services to aggregate the produce to tradable volumes, the cost of processing, storing and transport, plus the cost of finance and the anticipated profit margins.
The price actually paid will nevertheless also depend on the level of the international quotations at the time of sale as well as the degree of governmental regulation and taxation.
Many additional business factors also influence the prices effected in national and international contracts, chiefly:
• traded qualities,
• number of participants in the marketing chain,
• efficiency in the performance of activities,
• Long-term stability of mercantile contacts and reliability in the performance of contracts,
• exchange rate mechanisms in order to transform the world market price into local currency,
• degree of competition,
• transparency of operations and the flow of information concerning effective prices along the entire coffee chain
• contractual arrangements and the degree of dependency between sellers and purchasers.
Small-scale coffee producers
Although the small scale farmers' concern is to safeguard the subsistence of their families, cash is required to pay for specific goods and services. As only limited farming land is available and farmers are interested in cultivating crops which achieve high returns on cultivated area, farmers integrate the cash-crop coffee into their production systems wherever natural conditions allow.
Whereas in the past the increasing world-wide demand and remunerative prices were the incentive for a continuous expansion of production, the regulative element in the coffee market today is with the producing side, because the demand has remained almost unchanged.
As a tree crop typically reacts to more intensive care with a time lag of about one to two years and only produces three years after planting, cultivation-related decisions guided by price movements do not impact on the market immediately, but are effective only within a couple of years. In view of the free performance of market forces and the cyclical movements of coffee production, situations where there is a deficit in demand followed by excess supply - and therefore fluctuating prices seem unavoidable. To achieve higher selling prices it would be better for farmers to seriously consider the aspects of quality and added value when attempting to achieve a better rate of return.
Quality coffee pays its way
During the recent years of low coffee prices the importance of quality became obvious again. While the overall quality of traded qualities deteriorated significantly, countries producing coffee of high quality like Kenya still fetched remunerative prices for their sales. The development of the gourmet sector in North America is also a serious proof of the importance of quality. It is clear that quality coffee in international business will always fetch superior prices, regardless of the ongoing market level.
Small scale producers need to consider the following aspects on the technical side:
• Optimum care of coffee trees, combined with the right choice of cultivated variety and location specific factors (see article by Derek Bentley) greatly influence the output and the inherent quality of coffee and contribute to determining its specific physical, chemical and organoleptic characteristics "on the tree".
• Selective picking of only ripe, healthy cherries provides the basis for a good cup quality. Separation of unripe beans at a later stage (after pulping or after hulling) is much more difficult and, even if performed mechanically, will not assure as good results as selective picking.
• Care should be taken to appropriately handle the ripe cherries after harvesting in order to avoid uncontrolled fermentation processes as well as the incidence of externally caused off-flavors (e.g. due to inadequately separating coffee from spices, pesticides or other substances with volatile aromas).
The production of high quality coffee is favoured if provision is made that all coffee exports of a producing country are officially registered and controlled ensuring that the particular exportquality specifications are met.
Farmers should cooperate
The second important aspect is added value, since the performance of important services at the farmer level will truly induce higher sales prices. Coffee farmers will obviously benefit if they strive to participate as much as possible in the different steps involved, and produce added value through appropriate processing, aggregation of the produce and other services on their own. Through small scale farmers' organisations in e.g. associations or cooperatives, farmer participation in the different production stages becomes a feasible prospect. (see article by Eduardo Vega).
Various projects within the scope of international development cooperation have successfully addressed the issue of quality improvement at the level of production and processing as well as the scope of marketing of small-scale farmers' coffee.
Crucial investments in processing infrastructure e.g. processing equipment have often been necessary in order to reduce breakage or the incidence of other defects. Technical assistance could contribute effectively to limiting the influence of factors detrimental to quality, as for instance uncontrolled fermentation or inadequate drying and storing of coffee.
Commercial links with exporters
The trade sector can also make vital contributions. It may be of mutual benefit to both sides to establish close direct commercial links between the production level and the export business level. For farmers' organizations, cooperation with a company specialized in the operative coffee business may bring a wide range of positive effects.
Producers can obtain first hand market information concerning prices, trends and new developments. The commercial contacts of these trading companies to the consuming countries allow them to keep abreast of the qualities roasters appreciate for their blends and they can pass on this information to the level of production. They may also provide assistance m avoiding or at least reducing the effects of factors that might be detrimental to quality. This will assure that the produced coffee meets international standards and can be placed on the market at most remunerative prices.
Contractual arrangements may provide both sides with a certain level of security in commercial business. While such contracts permit exporting companies to improve the availability of required volumes of traceable coffee, producers can benefit from the possibility of selling a specified amount of coffee directly without the intervention of intermediaries.
Le marchÃ© international du cafÃ© est maintenant fibre et beaucoup de pays producteurs vent en train de libÃ©raliser leur industrie du cafÃ©. Cet article donne un aperÃ§u de l'Ã©tendue du marchÃ© du cafÃ© et des facteurs influant sur les prix. II considÃ¨re la situation particuliÃ¨re des petite exploitants - qui reprÃ©sentent le groupe le plus important des producteurs de cafÃ©. Deux aspects commerciaux de poids influant sur la position des producteurs sur le marchÃ© vent mis en relief, Ã savoir l'importance des coopÃ©ratives de petite exploitants et la production d'un cafÃ© de grande qualitÃ©.
El mercado actual del cafÃ© estÃ¡ libre de todo tipo de condicion amientos econÃ³micos y muchos paÃses productores estÃ¡n liberalizando la industria cafetera. El artÃculo resalta el alcance del mercado del cafÃ© y los factores que influyen la evoluciÃ³n del precio. Analiza asimismo la situaciÃ³n particular de los campesinos, que constituye el principal grupo de caficultores, y trace hincapiÃ© sobre dos aspectos comerciales que condicionan la posiciÃ³n de los productores en el negocio del cafÃ©: la importancia de las cooperativas campesinas y la producciÃ³n de cafÃ© de alta calidad.
Opening up new markets
Experienced companies may be at the position to offer producers the possibility of selling their coffee at times of high prices, since they can hedge the price-risk by means of terminal market operations at the respective exchanges. On the basis of long-term relationships, producers and trading companies may also pool their efforts to work on speciality coffee or establish a certain marketing label. New developing markets such as the gourmet market or market niches like the market for organic coffee (see article by Hartmut Brandt) may be targeted and explored.
Where producers have limited access to formal financial markets, trading companies who cooperate closely with producers may also be in a position to offer short-term credit to reliable farmers' organizations and allow their members to safely harvest their coffee and attend to quality aspects.
The development of coffee prices on the international market is expected to continue in cyclical movements characterized by times of peaks and times of subsequent lows. Relatively stable figures of consumption are associated with fluctuating production volumes as times of excessive quantities are followed by a shortfall of production against demand. Dropping and rising prices induce producers to reduce or respectively increase output. The cycles can be expected to repeat every couple of years, favoured by the typical production dynamics of a tree crop.
As the overall scenario displays a great deal of insecurity small scale producers who are confronted with the conditions of a free coffee market for the first time need more transparency concerning market forces as well as relevant information on the actual situation and future trends.
The production of quality coffee, combined with efforts to increase participation in downstream processing will be beneficial for producers. At the same time efforts should be made to make their activities as efficient as possible.
A Complex Cropping System
by Derek Bentley
Ways of compensating for the drop in coffee prices have eluded farmers over the years. This article describes two successful answers to fluctuating coffee prices: diversification and improved coffee husbandry.
Smallholder farmers have usually obtained the majority of their income from their coffee. The traditional reaction to a fall in price was to neglect the coffee, to the extent of pulling out trees in some instances, then replanting once the price started to rise again.
Diversification into other crops has always seemed to be more difficult with coffee, because the crops that can bring good compensating revenue are "Main Crops" which require large-scale processing plants: such as tea at higher altitudes and sugar at lower altitudes.
Alternative crops and markets
In regions where Arabica coffee is grown, replanting with new varieties of smaller tree size has increased yields, but often smallholder resist once to change has to be overcome.
Farmers in most coffee growing areas have tried to diversify. Their experiences show that successful diversification is generally limited by the size of the small holding, access to markets and the availability of a viable alternative crop.
Small coffee holders in Kenya and Northern Tanzania for example grow maize, beans, vegetables and plantains and keep dairy cows. All excess is sold locally. For many years farmers near International Airports have sent flowers and vegetables to Europe. These farmers use co-operatives to access European markets. However quality and packing standards are critical. This can be a major obstacle for farmers with small crops and limited resources.
In the hotter areas of the Eastern Highlands in Zimbabwe, the main coffee growing area, a considerable number of farmers are growing Macadamia Nuts, either as shade trees in coffee or as a separate crop. A small processing unit packs and markets the nuts. This has been a successful diversification.
In the Eastern Highlands in Zimbabwe the coffee is replanted about every seven years, as Fusarium Bark Disease causes enough tree deaths to make stands uneconomic. Some farmers interplant the new coffee with Burley tobacco, one of Zimbabwe's most successful cash crops.Thecoffee is replanted with new disease-resistant varieties, which also yield well.
Two other crops which are grown successfully are kiwi fruit and protects. However the kiwi fruit have to reach the European market before New Zealand's main crop to be profitable. Proteas of good quality can be grown and exported to Europe from the higher, cooler areas.
Les petite exploitants peuvent rÃ©agir Ã la fluctuation des cours du cafÃ© en diversifiant et en amÃ©liorant la culture de ce produit. Les mesures qu'ils prennent, jusqu'au prÃ©traitement, pourraient influer considÃ©rablement sur le prix qu'ils perÃ§oivent. I1 est possible de rÃ©duire les coÃ»ts des intrants, tout en produisant un cafÃ© de qualitÃ© raisonnable. La pulvÃ©risation et l'emploi Ã bon escient et en temps opportun d'engrais perrnettent d'augmenter la production.
Los pequeÃ±os agricultores pueden hacer frente a la fluctuaciÃ³n del precio del cafÃ© diversificando y mejorando las prÃ¡cticas de cultivo. Las actividades de los campesinos antes de entregar el cafÃ© al molino pueden tener un efecto significativo sobre el precio que reciben por Ã©l. Existen formas de reducir el costo de los insumos y tiempo su cantidad, a fin de mantener un nivel de calidad aceptable del cafÃ©. La aplicaciÃ³n correcta de fertilizantes y fumigantes en el momento apropiado, son factores que incrementan la producciÃ³n.
Improved coffee husbandry
A major difference in Southern Tanzania is that the farmers are completely isolated from any but local markets for almost all their produce. Maize and beans can be sent to other parts of the country. However, distances involved make this uneconomic except in times of drought. Farmers are, therefore, very reliant on coffee. In new plantings, academia could be used for shade.
Colombia has had a series of five year diversification plans which have studied soil capability systematically in the coffee districts to obtain a technical basis for diversification in the various ecoclimatIC areas. The main crops m the coffee areas arc sugar-cane, plantains, cassava and maize. Large areas are pastures.
In Costa Rica coffee is produced by many farmers who combine It with dairying and cultivation of sugar-cane, which employ labour when coffee does not.
Diversification is one answer to fluctuating coffee prices. Improved coffee husbandry is another. When coffee prices are low the tendency is to reduce inputs. However, ultimately prices will rise again, and at that time the farmer should be in a position to take advantage of a rising market with satisfactory yields. It is essential that the trees are not neglected to a point where it takes a considerable time for them to recover and yield well.
Different strategies can be used to maintain trees in a good condition. For example, in both Colombia and Costa Rica large areas of coffee have been replanted with Caturra, a dwarf variety of coffee. This allows for closer planting stations and increased yields. It is normal to plant caturra without shade, and with a high plant population. High rates of fertiliser are used to maintain the condition of the trees. However, many farmers plant caturra under shade. When prices are high, fertiliser is increased, and the shade is cut back drastically. When prices are low, the shade is allowed to grow, and fertilization is reduced. Shade helps to maintain the condition of the trees. Considerable input savings are made.
East Africa has had to cope with two diseases, C.L.R. (coffee leaf rust) and C.B.D. (coffee berry disease). Kenya has run a research programme to find disease resistant varieties. These varieties together with caturra have been planted over considerable areas, increasing the yields. Tanzania, on the other hand, has no new varieties and therefore much lower yields.
Methods to improve quality
Certain methods of husbandry can be applied generally to improve quality, yields and, as a result, income.
As shaded coffee can be manipulated to raise or lower yields, so can pruning off some bearing wood do the same. The pruning creates a smaller tree to be sustained with fertilizer and the smaller canopy needs less fungicides and pesticides. Given average rainfall, the smaller tree produces a bolder bean which, with a 'clean cup', leads to higher returns.
Where C.L.R. and C.B.D. are endemic, it is essential to complete the full complement of recommended fungicides, or losses are likely to beas great as if no sprays had been applied at all. It follows, therefore, that considerable savings in input costs can be realised by not spraying at all in low return years, unless yields are at such a level that the cost of a full spraying programme can be covered.
Where information is not available for farmers, it is very easy for them to waste considerable sums of money due to badly timed spraying. Unless the pesticides are advanced against their crop, many farmers will cut this input.
Unshaded coffee cultivation requires considerably more weed control than shaded; where there are long dry months between rain, the failure to remove weed competition will cause the tree to undergo stress, and die-back will result. In Kenya's deep soils couch grass (Cynodon dactylon) spreads very quickly if neglected.
Soil loss through erosion is greater during low return years as no mulching will be done, and most coffee is produced on hilly lands subject to tropical downpours.
In Papua New Guinea where rain normally falls each month, the coffee planted in the valleys is subject to flooding from the rivers. Valley farms have ditches (barrels) dug between every third row of coffee for drainage, which have to be kept clean or the coffee gets flooded and the leaves turn yellow.
Once the cherries are picked, the pre-mill processing can have a significant effect on prices.
In addition to the husbandry initiatives smallholders can undertake, co-operative ventures can also ease the burden of individual effort. In a scheme that worked very well in Papua New Guinea ,agroup of farmers from a village farmed their coffee together, whilst growing their food crops individually on their other land. The villagers employed a Managing Consultancy to help run the coffee.
Funding by banks was available to the village co-op, but only on the certification of the Managing Consultancy. New rust-resistant varieties were planted which yielded very well in their second year in the field. A stipulation laid down by the bank was that the Consultancy had to produce a husbandry programme covering the seasons until the loan was repaid. In this way the coffee was always adequately fertilized and sprayed.
It is evidently extremely difficult for smallholders to find an alternate crop which can provide any substantial income to compare with coffee.
Many efforts to diversify are underway in Colombia and other countries. Communications such as GATE make it a lot easier to keep abreast of any advances that occur, especially when new information is published in many languages.
Smallholders plant most of their land with food crops and they should be advised and assisted to upgrade their seed and methods of husbandry for these food crops. Improved seed and husbandry methods are available, but seldom utilized. New approaches would go a long way to improving food crop yields and help replace some of the lost coffee revenue in poor yield and price years.
M. Barel and M. Jacquet of the Centre for International Cooperation on Agronomy Research for Development (CIRAD) in Montpellier have analysed what shapes the physical, chemical and organoleptic characteristics of coffee beans at each stage of their processing. The results were published in the CIRAD magazine "Plantations, Recherche, DÃ©veloppement" July/August 1994, pp. 10-13). Here we reprint a slightly shortened version of the article.
Organoleptic qualities depend on the variety and the soil, but effective control of all stages of production will enhance them.
The two most widely cultivated species are: Arabica, with a dozen different varieties, and Canephora, primarily with the Robusta variety. Arabica has fine organoleptic characteristics, it is fragrant, pleasantly acid and with usually only slight body. Robusta is full-bodied, less fragrant with low acidity. It is also more harsh and bitter. Its caffeine content (2.5 %) is higher than that of Arabica (1.5 %).
General growing conditions play a role in the biosynthesis of aroma precursors. For example, it is known that the intensity of organoleptic characteristics is greater the more slowly the coffee ripens. This phenomenon seems to lie behind the fineness and acidity of high altitude coffees.
Sunshine, rainfall and soil type modify the amount of organic and mineral constituents. These many parameters are difficult to control, but knowledge of them can be used to forecast the potential qualities of a coffee.
Insect and fungus attacks
Attacks by berry borers (Stephanoderes hampei), bugs (Antestia) etc. weaken the bean, reduce cherry density and can result in insect damaged beans with an unpleasant taste (particularly noticeable with the Kouillou canephora varieties). Certain insects including the fly (Ceratitis coffeae) would appear to introduce bacteria into the beans that cause a potato taste, which can be detected in certain Arabicas from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. The molecule responsible for this taste has been identified as 2-methoxy -3 isopropyl-pyrazine.
Coffee berry disease causes fruits to dry out, leading to damaged and dry beans found in green coffee.
Pesticides and fertilizers
Some pesticides can transmit unpleasant tastes and odours, such as technical HCH, whose isomer gives a marked mouldy taste.
Excess potassium fertilizer can lead to harder beverages. This problem is encountered in Kenya, where mulching is widely practised, through the excessive introduction of potassium rich Pennisetum purpureum. Too much nitrogen fertiliser increases the caffeine content of beans, leading to a more bitter beverage.
Harvesting is an essential stage in coffee quality. In the great majority of producer countries, coffee is hand picked. To ensure a good quality coffee, the cherries should be picked one by one, ensuring only ripe cherries are harvested. However, this requires a large work force which is often difficult to find, so strip picking is too often carried out. This consists in stripping off all the cherries on a branch irrespective of ripeness: unripe green cherries, yellow cherries, ripe red cherries and overripe brown cherries. The green coffee obtained by such harvesting is heterogeneous and its liquor is very hard.
The number of physical defects is defined by an increasing linear function of the percentage of unripe beans. For example, 15 % green cherries in the harvest corresponds to 120 defects in the commercial coffee sample and is reflected in beverage quality. This 15 % threshold should not be exceeded.
The existence of black beans after drying (which give hard, bitter and woody beverages) is largely attributable to harvesting quality:
• green, unripe cherries are more difficult to dry,
• cherries fallen to the ground may have taken up more moisture,
• cherries partially dried on the tree may have been rehydrated.
If the cherrie spicke dare too ripe, they give unpleasant, fruity flavours to the beverage. Finally, irrespective of the harvest, if drying is too short, the layers of cherries are too thick or they have not been covered overnight or in wet weather, there will be a substantial proportion of black beans.
For a good quality harvest only red cherries should be picked.
It is worth noting that storing fresh cherries for long periods after picking can lead to foxy beans, which may give a fermentation or stinker taste, due to the presence of esters and ketones.
Les origines genetiques et gÃ©ographiques d'un cafÃ© lui confÃ¨rent des caractÃ¨res physiques, chimiques et organoleptiques spÃ©cifiques. Les veins apportÃ©s Ã sa prÃ©paration et Ã son usinage jouent un rÃ´le dÃ©terminant sur leur expression finale. La qualitÃ© de la cueillette influe trÃ¨s nettement sur la qualitÃ© Ã la tasse: il faut s'efforcer de ne rÃ©colter que de fruits rouges et les traiter dans les dix heures qui suivent la rÃ©colte. La voie sÃ¨che conduit Ã une boisson assez cure et amÃ¨re, la vole humide donne un cafÃ© de qualitÃ© recherchÃ©e, mais requiert beaucoup plus de veins et de technicitÃ©.
El origen genÃ©tico y geogrÃ¡fico del cafÃ© determine sus caracteristicas fisicas, quimicas y organolÃ©pticas especificas. LoscÃ¹idados prestados durante la preparaciÃ³n y elaboraciÃ³n del cafÃ© desampeÃ±an un paper crucial en la expresiÃ³n final de estes caracteristicas. La calidad de la cosecha influye considerablemente en la calidad del producto final: hay que cuidar de recolectar Ãºnicamente los frutos rojos, y tratarlos dentro de las diez horas posteriores a la cosecha. El mÃ©todo seco trace que la bebida resulte amarga y fuerte.
El mÃ©todo hÃºmedo da un cafÃ© de la calidad deseada, pero requiere cuidados mÃ¡s intensos y un mayor nivel tecnolÃ³gico.
Primary coffee preparation
Two preparation methods lead to two types of commercial green coffee:
• "Washed " coffees by the wet process, mostly involving Arabicas and very few Robustas.
• "Unwashed" coffees by the dry process, mostly involving Brazilian Arabicas and Robustas.
The coffee fruit called a cherry, is a drupe which grows in tight clusters on the branches of the tree. A fresh cherry contains around 70 % water. The purpose of primary post harvest processing is to reduce the water content to around 12 %, after which the beans keep well.
The amount of pulp around the beans usually determines the primary preparation method: wet process or dry process.
The pulp has a high water content. If it is thick it will make direct drying difficult. It therefore has to be removed, using the wet process. This is the case for most Arabicas. Robustas have a thin pulp and can be processed directly by the dry process.
The wet process consists in removing the outer skin and part of the mucilage by mechanical pulping then, after total mucilage removal, drying of the bean in its parchment alone.
This process requires installations, equipment, enormous amounts of water and operating inputs. Studies are under way to reduce water consumption and the resulting effluents.
On the other hand, it offers the following advantages:
• shorter drying time, hence smaller drying areas,
• fine-looking beans, o coffee with a finer taste.
If the wet process is used, producers must only pick ripe cherries, as unripe cherry pulping is either impossible or unsatisfactory. Flotation, which generally precedes pulping, also eliminates many unsuitable cherries.
After harvesting, the pulp is removed from the cherries in mechanical disk or drum pulpers, eliminating the skin and most of the pulp. The coffee has to be sorted during pulping and any unpulped cherries passed through a second time.
Mucilage removal is usually microbial (fermentation), enzymatic, or chemical (with alkaline compounds). This stage is judged to be complete when the beans no longer slide through the fingers, in fact they "grate" when pressed in the hand. This operation can last from 12 hours to three days, depending on climatic conditions, especially temperature. The mucilage can also be removed mechanically, which gives excellent results but is water and energy intensive. Submerging coffee in water reduces bitterness and astringency in the end product whilst increasing acidity.
Washing is carried out by hand, by treading, or mechanically, depending on quantities. It separates the pulp-laden water from the wet parchment coffee. At the end of the operation, the wet parchment coffee has a water content of around 55 %. Drying results in dry parchment coffee with a 12 % water content and is carried out as for the dry method described below.
The wet process requires considerable care, as very unpleasant flavours can be caused by certain preparation errors:
o prolonged cherry storage prior to pulping results in a stinker taste. Cherries should be processed no more than 10 hours after harvesting.
o a poorly regulated pulper damages the parchment, facilitating microbial attack and contamination,
o poor pulper cleaning also results in contamination and the appearance of unpleasant tastes,
o inadequate fermentation and washing favour uncontrolled microbial action in the pulp residues, leading to alcoholic stinkers,
o excessive fermentation causes sour, fermented, stinker tastes,
o the same defects are caused by using unsuitable water for preparation (low pH, rich in organic matter, Fe+ + + [ferric] content higher than 5 mg/l).
In the dry process, the entire cherry is dried directly, immediately after harvest. The outer envelopes dry out to form the husk, which is then removed mechanically during hulling. In most cases, the harvested cherries (70 % water content) are subjected to sun drying, in thin layers (3 to 4 cm thick), stirred 4 times a day and protected from rehydration at night or by rain.
The coffee may be placed on fixed or movable raised drying trays, on a cemented area, or on plastic tarpaulins. In the latter two cases, it is preferable to begin by drying on trays for 2 or 3 days. Drying directly on the ground or beaten earth should be avoided.
Coffee is dry once its water content reaches 12 %: husk coffee "rattles" in its shell when shaken. If these simple precautions are followed to the letter, fine "drying process" coffee is guaranteed.
Drying is an important and tricky stage in coffee preparation. It contributes considerably to end product quality and can prove detrimental to quality if not carried out correctly.
Coffee left to dry under poor conditions (layers too thick, inadequate homogenization, rehydration) can be subject to quality deterioration:
o unpleasant tastes caused by moulds or bacteria that produce molecules causing earthy tastes (2-methyl isoborneol),
o black beans (especially unripe ones), which give hard, sour liquors.
Husk coffee and parchment coffee are then processed, to give commercial green coffee.
Whilst the genetic and geographical origins of a coffee determine Its specific phiysical, chemical and organoleptic characters, the care taken in its preparation and processing also plays a decisive role in its final characteristics.
Picking quality has a very clear influence on cup quality: only red fruits should be picked and processed as soon as possible, within ten hours of harvesting.
The dry process gives quite a hard and bitter beverage; the wet process gives a more attractive coffee and a less harsh, less bitter beverage with pleasant acidity, but requires much greater care and technical skill.
Be that as it may, a coffee carefully prepared by the dry process (thin drying layers, stirring, no rehydration) is better than one carelessly prepared by the wet method, which can lead to severe defects (stinker, alcoholic, sour beans, etc.).
By the time a coffee reaches the hulling and sorting unit, it has already acquired its essential intrinsic characteristics, but the different sorting operations ensure its overall quality by reducing the number of defects.
The largest operating cost is for harvesting, followed by drying, if sun-dried, and colour sorting, if by hand, which is why research is actively studying ways of mechanizing these stages.
Coffee Pulping and Water Mills
by Valentin Schnitzer
Small farmers in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania receive only low prices for their coffee, although in general the wet processed "mild Arabica" variety receives a good price. The reason is the poor quality of their coffee, a result of their inappropriate processing methods. However the farmers can improve the quality - and therefore also the proceeds - of their coffee, for instance by adding coffee pulping machinery to a water mill plant.
Due to a lack of water, energy and other facilities required for the pulping process, small farmers can only simulate and prepare coffee beans using processes appropriate to their means. The farmers use small drum pulpers, often made by local craftsmen, and in rare cases imported motor driven pulpers. For cleaning and pre-selection, as well as for fermentation, barrels, drums and locally-constructed basins are used. Yet these methods hardly comply with the timing and quality required for high standard processing.
To improve conditions for small farmers, central pulperies have in the past been introduced, often by state-organised coffee cooperatives. Most could not be integrated in the farmers' rural environment, however, because they were located too far from the farmers. Few transport opportunities were available, but the main problem was that farmers mistrusted the cooperatives, accusing them of charging high prices for their services and paying lowprices for the coffee.
Apart from these organisational problems in the operation of the central pulpery there is also a low utilisation rate of the equipment and machinery, because harvesting and processing takes no longer than three months in most areas. While the pulping machinery has a dedicated use, the energy source - in remote areas usually a small diesel engine of around 10-20 KW (depending on the capacity of the pulpery) - could in principle be used for other purposes. This is rarely the case however, mainly due to the organisational separation of coffee processing from other productive activities.
Water power for coffee processing
As a result of economic reforms in a number of coffee producing countries the state monopolies have been crushed, opening up coffee processing as an income-generating economic operation. In this context anyone who wishes to invest - be it an individual, a coffee growers' association or a community -would want to see good returns throughout the year.
Concerning coffee processing this could mean using a pulping engine for other purposes as well. A case in point is the combination of coffee pulping with a maize (grain) millery, driven by a micro water turbine. In most areas where «mild Arabica" is produced a water source with some hydro-electrical potential exists.
At the same time investors have set up flour mills driven by diesel engines in the region. Due to fuel shortages and high prices, water power development was introduced, as the coffee region in the southwest of Tanzania is rich in water sources. Wherever such water power is established more independence is created, as the power source can be used for a flour mill as well as for oil expellers, water pumping, craft development and electricity generation. In the new approach described here coffee processing can be effectively combined with this range of multi-purpose use sof a water power source. The technology of the water mill plant meets approved techniques involving local resources. Pumps are well known and used in reverse operating mode as drive turbines; belt power transmissions are already used for other power drives, so the operation of the water mill plant requires little training and technology transfer.
A l'exemple de la Tanzanie, l'auteur montre comment les installations de dÃ©pulpage et de traitement par vole humide permettent aux petite producteurs de cafÃ© d'amÃ©liorer la qualitÃ© de leur cafÃ© brut et done leur revenu.
La rÃ©gion de production dans le sud-ouest de la Tanzanie Ã©tant riche en eau, I'Ã©nergie hydraulique est toute indiquÃ©e pour actionner les installations. L'eau est une source d'Ã©nergie qui peut Ãªtre utilisÃ©e Ã des fins diverses, par exemple pour les moulins Ã farine, pour les pressoirs Ã huile, ou encore pour les pompes Ã eau. Puisque les facteurs essentials pour le traitement du cafÃ© I'eau et l'Ã©nergie - sont disponibles sur place, l'adjonction d'une installation de dÃ©pulpage Ã ['installation de traitement par vole humide ne demanderait pas un gros investissement supplÃ©mentaire.
BasÃ¡ndose en el ejemplo de pequeÃ±os caficultores de Tanzania, el autor describe las posibilidades de mejorar la calidad del producto y obtener mayores ingresos combinando la despulpadora con el molino. La abundancia de recursos hÃdricos en la regiÃ³n sudoccidental de Tanzania favorece el uso de sistemas propulsados por agua. AdemÃ¡s, el agua como fuente de energÃa tiene mÃºltiples aplicaciones, por ejemplo, accionamiento de molinos, extracciÃ³n de aceite o bombeo de agua. Dada la disponibilidad agua y energÃa -los do s factores principales para el procesamiento del cafÃ©- en los molinos, sÃ³lo se necesitarÃa una inversiÃ³n parcial apara complementarlo con una despulpadora.
A pulpery adjacent to a typical water mill: Directly after harvesting the red, ripe Cherries" are poured into water tanks for cleaning and separation. The good quality cherries settle on the bottom, and are then fed into the power-driven pulper to remove the skin and pulp from the bean. The beans are further cleaned of the remaining pulp by fermentation in the fermentation tank. After washing the beans are dried on clean surfaces or in drying machines.
Community mobilization for water mills
Water turbines need a regulated input of water. In most areas this requires the involvement of the community. In Tanzania, villagers' self-help involved construction of water engineering components such as the diversion from the river, weir, canal or reservoir, and mill building. Community participation led to good organisation and implementation of building, operating, managing and maintaining such mill projects. Some water mills were introduced in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania with the support of the German catholic aid association Misereor.
As the main factors for coffee processing - water and power- are already available at water mill sites, the addition of a pulpery to a water mill plant represents only partially new investment. The necessary civil works can be constructed in the same style the water mill was built, reducing the new investment for the pulping machine.
In the coffee harvest season coffee pulping can be effectively performed alongside milling, the major activity, which continues on slightly reduced power and capacity.
As the flour mills have already proved economic and savings have been built up by the communities, the additional pulping activity should further improve performance. Through the active sharing of work and the identification of the participating farmers with this approach the new technique stands a good chance of becoming part of existing integrated local service structures.
Experiences in Jamaica
by Delza G. Riley and Johan Verink~
Jamaica is famous for its Blue Mountain Coffee. But the coffee production causes environmental problems: the high water and energy demand for its processing and the high organic load, converting rivers into sewers.
At present there are nine coffee pulperies in Jamaica, three of them are privately owned and the remaining six belong to the government. Instant coffee is produced locally by one factory and roasting and packing are done in a further two factories in Jamaica.
The production capacities of the nine coffee pulpery factories range between 10000 and 80000 boxes/a (1 box equals on average 28 kg) and are subject to strong seasonal supply fluctuations. Most factories process cherry coffee from September until December, however, in the Blue Mountains harvesting takes place all year around.
Depending on the type of processing and level of mechanization adopted, differences in the severity of environmental impacts are to be expected.
Solid residues of coffee pulperies are often the cause of serious water pollution. It is estimated that around 45 % of the cherry coffee ends up in the waste streams of the pulperies. The solids can easily be removed with the aid of screens and sedimentation units. The final effluent is subsequently stabilised aerobically or anaerobically.
The degradation of soluble organic matter is one of the main causes of environmental problems such as oxygen deficiency and generation of unpleasant odours in receiving waters.
Water Pollutants and COD
Coffee factory wastewaters contain high concentrations of organics such as sugars, peptides, phenols and pectines. The amount of these organics is commonly expressed as the equivalent oxygen demand required for their complete degradation, termed the COD (chemical oxygen demand).
To enable comparison of coffee pulperies with respect to water consumption and the degree of water pollution caused, the COD values are applied to characterise certain process streams. Typical values for a Jamaican pulpery are shown in the table.
For this wet process pulpery the COD values presented fall within the generally accepted range, while the corresponding water consumption are lower than expected. Nevertheless the given water consumption could still be reduced by as much as 30 % if some of the process waters were reused.
The water consumption and COD of coffee factory wastewaters vary over a wide range. This, and the fact that the COD of pulpery wastewater streams is generated only by the pulp of the coffee cherries have prompted suggestions that the current procedures, generally used to quantify the pollution load of pulpery wastewaters, should be revised. Consequently the Scientific Research Council (SRC) of Jamaica has been investigating whether improved data determination will produce more precise results. The premise is that the COD freed in a laboratory simulation test of the pulpery process would enable more accurate determination of the COD load required for the design of a treatment plant. In addition seasonal changes could be investigated more readily, with less effort and with higher precision.
Washing of Parchment
Studies into the nutrient concentrations in pulpery wastewaters produced in Jamaica have shown low values of nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur. However although these nutrients would have to be added to pulpery wastewaters in order to optimise anaerobic treatment, nevertheless the quantity needed would be substantially less than that for aerobic treatment.
Options to reduce environmental impacts
Closing or relocating the factory cannot generally be seen as the best solution to waste management problems.
Apart from applying the dry process, there are other options which can help to reduce the Wastewater load of the wet process. For example, quick separation of pulp and water by screening and in so doing reduction of contact time between pulp and water to a minimum.
In the literature, data show that water consumption varies from 45 to 90 m3/t coffee beans. The quantity of water required is normally higher at the beginning of the season. This is to allow the beans flow into the pulping machines with ease. Water consumption can be reduced by employing any or all of the following commonly used methods: Recirculation of some process waters, reuse of all process waters and utilisation of counter-current flow patterns in the pulpery processes. Whether the total organic load, the size of the treatment plant or the receiving water is going to be significantly affected will depend very much on the local situation. At pulperies in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, for example, the installation of Wastewater treatment systems would be much more beneficial than attempts at reducing the quantity of water used.
A reduction of the water consumption could also have spin-offs in terms of a reduction in the amount of energy required for pumping water. The impacts, however, are very site-specific and may turn out to be insignificant when compared with the total energy requirements for the production process.
Stages in the treatment of pulpery waste water comprise: firstly, separation of pulp by screening or sedimentation, followed by anaerobic degradation of soluble organics and, lastly, a polishing process which is allowed to take place in ponds or in an environment with macrophytes. Before application to the land, composting of pulpery solids is necessary because of their acidic nature which is a result of the high and easily degradable organics in the pulp.
In some countries the pulp is fed into ponds where the Wastewater either evaporates, runs off with the surface water or percolates down into the ground water. In some countries of Africa, pulp with 3.5 % nitrogen is applied to the field. To avoid negative impacts on ground water systems, proper sealing of pulp storage areas must be put in place and the leachate should be fed to a Wastewater treatment plant. Nowadays long lasting, relatively cheap, PVC linings with proven and guaranteed durability are available on the market to protect ground water resources.
Energy from pulpery waste
Energy can be generated from gas produced by treatment of the pulpery wastewaters and also from the dried coffee pulp itself, by burning. In addition composting of the pulpery solids is an alternative way of making more efficient use of waste and simultaneously treating it.
At a local pulpery it has been estimated that, on average, approximately 40 m3 of biogas can be produced per ton of cherries. A diesel generator currently used at the site to generate electricity for the factory, consumes a quantity of oil exactly equivalent to the energy of the gas generated.
Any fuel that can be replaced by energy from waste, thus creating a positive energy balance for the additional process step involved, can be considered environmentally friendly and politically astute. Generating energy from waste reduces the negative impacts of pollution on the air, thus contributing to minimization of the greenhouse effect. A question for the legislators to ponder over is "why are such measures not sufficiently financially attractive so as to warrant implemention ?"
Product quality is frequently not taken into account by environmentalists who rightly demand improved waste management. However let it not be forgotten that without that product, there would probably be no justification for waste treatment. But neither would our needs be totally satisfied. The point is that when dealing with the matter of water preservation in the context of coffee production, the product quality should be kept as the main focus.
It will probably be necessary to assure or convince factory managers that product quality will not suffer, before implementation of water recirculation or reuse schemes are allowed. Maintaining the highest product quality should never be endangered by forcing a reduction of the water consumption which, in so doing, is likely to cause implementation of more energy intensive measures leading to greater air pollution.
Pilot-scale experiments, conducted on site at a local pulpery, strongly suggest that anaerobic wastewater treatment technology provides the only viable environmentally friendly way of removing soluble organics from pulpery wastewaters. Loading rates of 2 to 3 kg COD/(m3.d) have already been attained at temperatures of around 20 C resulting in COD removal rates of 80 to 90 %.
Reducing the water consumption could bring advantages, for example lower energy consumption for pumping. However this does not necessarily reduce the organic load discharged to the receiving water.
Anaerobic technology has proven itself in other countries, but the required detailed process know-how has still to be anchored locally at factories and with consultants. If sufficient land were available, properly designed and constructed pond systems would offer a least cost solution where conventional "natural" treatment is not acceptable.
Both, manufacturers and consumers of the products produced, have to be made aware of their duty to pay for environmental measures.
Energy produced from wastewater at pulperies will not only contribute to improved water quality, but also to a reduction of the greenhouse effect.
Nicaragua: Ecological coffee processing
KATE - the Center and Working Team for Appropriate Technology and Development in Berlin is financing the construction of an ecologically oriented coffee processing plant in Nicaragua. The plant is located in a Finca of the private coffee cooperative AGROCAFE S.A. in Matagalpa.
The hinterland of the town of Matagalpa, 110,000 inhabitants, is one of Nicaragua's chief coffee growing areas. Some 5,000 tons of coffee beans are produced and processed each year. Wet coffee processing as practiced here requires enormous quantities of water. Processing the 5,000 tons of coffee beans consume 78,500m3 of water, some 75 % of which returns as polluted water to contaminate the river (average chemical oxygen demand 3,000 mg/l).
Several years ago AGROCAFE began to change from conventional coffee processing to more ecologically sound procedures. Continuous recycling of the water in the new plant will reduce wastewater quantities and the solid waste obtained when processing the coffee is to be composted.
Recycling and composting
Before removing the seeds from the pulp the leaves and other pollutants transported with the coffee cherry are removed. The waste water obtained at this stage has a low pollution level and is therefore recycled. In conventional plants dehulling is a critical point where the largest quantities of contaminated solid waste and waste water is obtained when disengaging the coffee bean, which is only 20% of the overall coffee fruit, from its housing. In the new plant the beans are hulled on adry basis. The separated matter is transported for composting and stored for a maximum of 36 hours in special basins.
After they have been hulled the green beans are graded also in a wet procedure. The waste water obtained is also only slightly contaminated and is recycled together with waste water from the rough cleansing. Following the wet grading the thin mucilaginous lager of pulp still clinging to the beans is biologically degraded in the fermentation basin.
The degraded layer of the beans is then washed away. It is this last processing phase that generates the highest water pollution in the new type of plant (55 % of overall contamination in terms of chemical oxygen-demand).
The highly polluted waste water cannot be recycled and is forwarded to anaerobic ponds where the micro-organisms utilize the organic substance to develop cells. The micro-organisms then settle as sludge on the bed of the lagoon. The waste water leaving the ponds has a far lower concentration of organic water polluting substances.
South -South -Transfer
AGROCAFE experts designed the new plant together with experts from El Salvador, Guatemala and Costa Rica.
The initiative was triggered both by AGROCAFE and also government institutions and ministries in Nicaragua, who are now taking steps to create the legal framework for ecological coffee growing in Nicaragua. The plant's technology derives from Costa Rica which has far stricter legislation on water protection. These regulations have forced coffee processing companies to drastically reduce water consumption from cat 85 m3 to 10.8 m3 water per ton of coffee beans. Whereas Costa Rica achieved this by revamping existing plants, the facility in Matagalpa is to be a completely new plant based on Costa Rican knowhow, and capable of processing 1,000 tons of coffee per year.
by Hartmut Brandt
Organic coffee and fairly traded coffee are in growing demand. Could this other kind of coffee be a viable alternative for small coffee farmers ?
Two trends dominate the structure of the conventional coffee market - while supply is increasing as a result of "progress » in technical production methods, the demand is stagnating. In the 1980s, for example, Colombia introduced modern high yield varieties which require high inputs of fertilizer and pesticides. Costa Rica and other countries of Central America followed this example. The hectare yield rose by up to 300 percent.
Consumers derive the main benefit from this higher productivity when the price of a cup of coffee significantly dropped. The ecological damage resulting from intensive cropping - soil erosion, groundwater contamination and mostly latent insecticide poisoning-was chiefly borne by the small-scale producers.
By growing that "other kind of coffee" - TransFair coffee or organic coffee - may be they could improve their economic and/or ecological situation.
The first approaches in Germany towards more equitable trade relationships between north and south began in 1970 when the "Third World Trade Campaign" (Aktion Dritte-Welt-Handel - A3WH) was set up as the forerunner to the "gepa" - the society to Promote Partnership with the Third World" (Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Partnerschaft mit der Dritten Welt mbH ) which saw the light in 1975. Gepa sells its coffee via third world shops and action groups. Only up to 0.3 % of Germany's coffee was traded in this way in the 1980s.
In 1992, following the example of the alternative Dutch trading organization «Max Havelaar", the "TransFairVerein to Promote Fair Trade with the Third World" was established. This association now numbers 32 member NGOs from church and societal groups. The catholic aid association Misereor, the protestant Arbeitsgemeinschaft kirchlicher Entwicklungsdienst (AGKED), the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation of the Social-Democratic Party, the Commission of the EU and the German states of Bremen and Hamburg provided the start-up capital.
TransFair e.V. defines the criteria for fair trade, awards licenses to the import trade and monitors that the criteria are adhered tO. The license authorizes the retailer to use the TransFair seal on the retailed fair trade coffee. This seal guarantees that the following conditions have been adhered to: The green coffee beans are bought direct from the small farmer cooperative which is registered in the Max Havelaar/TransFair producer register. To be included on this register, a cooperative must be politically independent, and managed and controlled along democratic lines. The quality seal also guarantees a minimum price and premium, the possibility to obtain prefinancing by the import trade at commercial Dollar interest rates of up to 60 % of the contract value and regular controls by independent controllers.
The minimum price regulation ensures that 126 et/lb (cents per pound) - ex dock New York - is paid for Arabicas. When world marketprices exceed this minimum price a degressive premium of maximum 10 % is paid. As from 165 et/lb only the world market prices are paid. For organic coffee an additional priceup of 15 cc/lb must also be paid.
In the Federal Republic of Germany TransFair coffee now accounts for some 1 % of consumption, 5 % in Switzerland and 3 % in the Netherlands. According to an EMNID poll in October 1993 37 % of German consumers are prepared to pay at least DM 2 extra for a pound of coffee when "... this additional profit directly benefits the small farmers fighting for their livelihood in the Third World".
In 1993, 23 small farmers' cooperatives were registered as producers representing some 0.5 million members in 13 countries, but they were only able to sell 5 % of their coffee production at TransFair conditions. The register now contains 300 cooperatives. These are aware of the restrictive character of their TransFair contracts so that the minimum price regulation does not entail a danger of being an incentive to produce excessive quantities of green coffee or for farmers to specialize on coffee growing. TransFair e.V. also promotes the diversification of production in the cooperatives registered with them. The German Coffee Association does not give TransFair coffee any wide-scale chance of survival: "Because world market prices have been rising for some time the TransFair model will be forced to come to an end." But those who have been doomed often have a long life: from October 1993 to October 1994 the share of TransFair coffee rose from 0.6 % to 0.9 % of final consumption even though consumer prices were on the up.
Sur le marchÃ© du cafÃ©, on peut observer un accroissement de la demande sur deux crÃ©neaux: le cafÃ© Transfair est demandÃ© par les consommateurs qui ont le sens social et veulent faire quelque chose pour le dÃ©veloppement, et le cafÃ© biologique est achetÃ© par ceux qui vent soucieux de l'environnement et de leur santÃ©. Les coopÃ©ratives de petite producteurs qui commercialisent leur cafÃ© par l'intermÃ©diaire de l'association Transfair e.V. obtiennent un prix minimum ou une majoration des prix garantis, qui les protÃ¨gent contre les consÃ©quences fatales d'une baisse des cours sur les marchÃ© mondiaux. La culture de cafÃ© biologique permet d'Ã©viter les dommages Ã©cologiques provoquÃ©s par la culture intensive. Dans cet article, la question de savoir dans queue mesure ces deux autres sortes de cafÃ© constituent une option Ã©conomique pour les petite producteurs est examinÃ©e.
En el mercado del cafÃ© estÃ¡ aumentando la demanda de dos productos alternativos: cafÃ© Transfair, porque responde al compromiso social y de desarrollo del consumidor, y cafÃ© biolÃ³gico, por razones ecolÃ³gicas y de salud. Las cooperatives campesinas que comercializan el cafÃ© crudo a travÃ©s de Transfair e. V. reciben un precio mÃnimo o un recargo garantizado, que asegura la existencia de los productores frente a los amenazadores efectos de la baja de los precios en el mercado mundial. El cultivo de cafÃ© biolÃ³gico protege el medio ambiente de los daÃ±os ecolÃ³gicos que ocasiona el cultivo intensivo. El autor plantea la cuestiÃ³n de hasta quÃ© punto estas clases "diferentes« de cafÃ© repres en tan una alternativa econÃ³mica pare los pequeÃ±os caficultores.
Organic coffee farming
In 1991 some 6700 tons of raw coffee from organic farmers or producers in the transformation stage to organic farming were on supply worldwide (0.7 % of world exports). Some 78 % of this satisfied the conditions of the US-Food Production Act, Article 21 of 1990. Only some 34 % satisfied the more stringent conditions of the EC regulation 2092/91 dated 24 June 1991 on organic farming and pertinent product labelling.
There is no clear picture of how the organic coffee market has developed on the quantitative side to date. The demand potential has no doubt risen, but producers are having to adapt to quality standards set by importing countries. Through the 1991 EU regulation a whole range of label markings such as «biological", "controlled", "integrated" have disappeared from the market.
Trading with organic or eco-coffee in the EU is now registered and controlled. Goods can only be imported from non-EU countries when production is controlled in line with EU standards. Testing and certification of the organic farming can be carried out by the member organizations of the "International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements" (IFOAM). The main legal bases consists of the EU regulations No. 2091/91, No. 94/92, No. 1535/92, No. 2983/92.
The German Coffee Association criticizes the present status of pertinent EU regulations, a lack of standard administration practice and that there is an excessive number of controlling and certification bodies.
Organic coffee production requires a 2-4-fold higher work input per product unit than conventional coffee. Altitudes of 2000 m above sea level and isolated cropping areas (lower risk of infection) provide the best phytosanitary conditions. Low wages, small farming structures and a broad mixture of soil use systems are focal pre-conditions.
As natural yields only amount to 50 % of yield from tratational intensive cropping, an efficient marketing system which ensures that the producer can fetch a higher price for his goods is a decisive factor. The consumer still pays up to 100 %, more for organic coffee than for traditional qualities.
Production technology is based on the use of plants which are highly resistant to disease, the planting of shade trees, mulching with leguminosae and mixed cropping systems. Sufficient organic manure is essential. In critical infestation situations, the EU regulations permit the use of Bordeaux fungicide and the pyrethrum extract insecticide.
No uniform international definition of organic coffee has been issued to date, meaning that a specialised world market could not yet develop despite the considerable demand potential in all industrial countries. There is still wide-scale unclarity about the market potential, the scope, price and income elasticity of demand. Practice still has to show which locations allow sustainable and economically viable cropping.
Perhaps an international convention will be necessary before the niche product organic coffee can become a major quality product with a high turnover.
"Cafe Forestal"- Coffee with a tropical forest premium
"CafÃ© Forestal» is an Arabica coffee from the Costa Rican plateau. It is grown by the members of CoocafÃ©, an association of small farmers' cooperatives set up in 1 988. "CafÃ© Forestal" is marketed with the "TransFair" and "MaxHavelaar» labels.
As with other fair trade coffees, the producers are not the only party drawing benefit from the sales price, which is somewhat higher than that of conventional coffees. Costa Rica's tropical rain forest is also a winner: One dollar from the sale of each kilo of "Forestal'' coffee flows into a foundation set up by CoocafÃ© to reafforest forest stocks, which have been decimated by more than 50 % over the last 30 years.
The «Forestal" foundation finances the "El Flor" project in a small village near to the town of Nicoya. " El Flor" is a cooperative of tree nurseries which also acts as part of the fire brigade. The farmers in the cooperative plant mostly local species such as cedars. Should a forest fire break out in the dry season in the nearby national reserve of Barra Honda, the farmers take on their fire fighting job, for example, by cutting alleys through the forest to prevent the fire from spreading.
Part of the coffee price is also used to train the farmers and educate their children. In its building in Nicoya, the "Forestal» foundation maintains its own library on ecology and environmental protection, organizes exhibitions of children's drawings, photographs and posters and carries out its own training courses. The foundation's staff are keen to sensitive children for the needs of the environment and of nature at the earliest possible age.
A market for the future?
The demand for TransFair coffee is the expression of a consumer's social and development policy commitment and organic coffee is consumed for environmental policy reasons (protection of the producer, of natural resources and of the consumer). While a label which combines organic and TransFair seals can expect to reach a large number of buyers the different certification and control conditions entail that the corresponding demand will not be satisfied for some time.
It is to be hoped that TransFair will find a solution to the " zero transfer" issue, in which producers do not receive ens premium when coffee pricks exceed a certain limit. In contrast to the commercial trading transfers, gepa's solution, which allows a set premium (on the market price to producers during the present high price situation) could be a model for the future. 10 to 20 cts/500 g of roasted coffee seems feasible.
Intensified support on cropping and production methods by the development cooperation community (official and NGOs) would benefit organic coffee growing. An international convention on eco-coffee which exactly defines production methods and quality of ecological green coffee and how they can be controlled is another hope for the future. Rules for certifying the goods also have to be defined there.
by Eduardo Vega/Mauricio LlantÃ©n/Eugenio Cifuentes
In 1990 the Instituto Mayor Campesino (IMCA) in Colombia developed an eco-farming coffee growing concept in the Department Valle del Cauca aiming to encourage sustained development for farming communities. In the meantime the farmers' initiative set up with IMCA assistance can now demonstrate its first successes in the production and marketing of organic coffee.
"In earlier days I had my own coffee farm. Nowadays I just have a piece of land cultivated with a few coffee scrubs and day-in day-out I have to carry everything I need on my shoulders from the village to my plot. " This was the nostalgic story of a small coffee farmer at an IMCA seminar in 1990 to discuss the then coffee crisis and ways of reacting to it.
When the quota system in the scope of the International Coffee Agreement (ICA) collapsed in 1989 and coffee prices dropped, the crisis of small farmers who had placed all their hopes and survival strategies on coffee growing became fully apparent. In earlier times coffee farmers had grown a diversified variety of crops, but traditional mixed cropping had now been replaced by single crops which required extensive off-farm production inputs and high amount of capital.
In Colombia not just the farming economy but also the entire coffee sector had cracked up. The National Coffee Association (FederaciÃ³n Nacional de Cafeteros), which controlled production, prices and the market decided to cut the annual production from over 17 million bags to 12 million bags. This meant withdrawing 100,000 hectares from coffee cultivation.
In the middle of the price collapse phase the harvests were decimated by the broca coffee berry pest. Coffee farming families were hit by poverty and hunger. They left their plantations and often sold their small property to the highest bidder.
The crisis did not just impact on the coffee sector. The government policy of opening up the Colombian economy caused real incomes from agriculture to shrink on an enormous scale between 1990 and 1993. Farmers had tocompete with prices on international markets. As from the end of 1989 Colombia began gradually reducing all its subsidies and customs barriers; at the same time, however, the industrialized countries were establishing subsidies to protect their own agriculture and farmers.
The organic coffee option
This is when IMCA began designing a concept for a sustainable, organic coffee growing together with a group of small coffee farmers. New sources of income were to be tapped which were simultaneously to pave the way to development based on human dignity and harmony with the natural environment.
The farmers from RiofrÃo were the first coffee producers to organize themselves in 1990, supported by their regional IMCA-team: Coffee growing was the dominant factor in this regions' economic, social and cultural life. By joining together, small producers became a counterweight to the powerful coffee associations. They turned their back on mechanized coffee growing methods which were detrimental to the environment and demanded that recognition be paid to traditional farming knowledge which had grown up over so many centuries. The Colombian Association of Organic Coffee Growers came to life (AssociaciÃ³n de Caficultores OrgÃ¡nicos de Colombia CAFE SANO, ACOC).
The Association and its tasks
An integrated coffee production and marketing concept has now been developed over the course of time which also incorporates such essential elements as the participation of women, the education of future generations of coffee growers, expanded interchange with governmental and local power structures, forms of neighborly help on the basis of solidarity, and joint efforts to ensure interaction with nature on a more harmonious basis.
The Association promotes:
• the production of healthy foods through organic farming methods, for use in families, the country and for export
• the rehabilitation of natural soil fertility by producing and using biological manure
• guaranteed food security for families by diversified cropping
• integration of livestock husbandry into the farming system
• the organization of people running organic farms
• framing for the association's members and communities, in order to further the development of organic farming. A school for future eco-farmers (Escuela de Futuros Agricultores OrgÃ¡nicos, EFAO) has been established and basic guidelines for organic coffee farming have been drawn up.
• The association also supports, coordinates and strengthens production and marketing facilities for organic coffee and other products.
Four committees address the association's specific tasks: specialist control, export and marketing, education and solidarity. The General Assembly of Members is the association's highest decision making organ. The ACOC can now boast members from the neighboring communities of Buga, Restrepo, TuluÃ¡ and Trujillo.
Avec l'appui de l'Instituto Mayor Campesino (IMCA), de petite producteurs de cafÃ© ont crÃ©Ã© en 1990 Ã Riofrio, en Colombie, l'AsociaciÃ³n de Caficultores OrgÃ¡nicos de Colombia (association colombienne pour la culture biologique-organique de cafÃ©). Leur intention Ã©tait en outre de promouvoir dans leurs communes un dÃ©veloppement durable, en utilisant des mÃ©thodes de production choisies scion des critÃ¨res Ã©cologiques et sociaux. Cet article dÃ©crit leurs experiences, les problÃ¨mes rencontrÃ©s et les succÃ¨s remportÃ©s dans la production et la commercialisation de cafÃ© biologique.
Mediante el apoyo del Ins stituto Mayor Campesino (IMCA), se constituyÃ³ en 1990 la AsociaciÃ³n de Caficultores OrgÃ¡nicos de Colombia, integrada por pequeÃ±os productores de cafÃ© de la region de Riofrio. La AsociaciÃ³n se propone el desarrollo sostenÃdo de las comunidades mediante la aplicaciÃ³n de mÃ©todos de producciÃ³n ecolÃ³gica y socialmente compatibles. El artÃculo describe las experiencias, los problemas y los logros en la producciÃ³n y comercializaciÃ³n de cafÃ© orgÃ¡nico.
Food security for farming families
Sustainable organic coffee growing requires an on-farm supply of organic and biological inputs (e.g. manure) and reduced dependence on off farms sources. As animal manure is the main source of organic material, farms must keep livestock for their own consumption and for marketing. The animals should feed on locally available foodstuffs as far as ever possible, so that bought-in concentrated feed kept to a minimum.
Even though coffee is still grown as a cash crop, simultaneous production of other food ensures that the farming families have a secure supply for home consumption.
All production processes in the farming system must harmonize with the environment (soil, water, forest etc.) and with the people involved; they must prolong life and not destroy it. The better the above mentioned conditions are fulfilled, all the more applicable becomes the term "sustainable organic coffee farming". Simply replacing a production system dependent on chemical inputs, by a system which depends on organic inputs is not enough.
Marketing for export
The marketing of coffee grown under sustainable organic farming conditions should benefit local rural development. This coffee is traded as "special coffee" compared to the traditional commercial coffee.
On the world coffee market the traditional commercial grades dominate. The consumer does not differentiate between the different types of cropping systems used or the producers' working conditions. In Colombia this special grade of coffee is exported as "excelso" (choice coffee). The coffee beans correspond to international quality standards as to size, colour, aroma, cup-test and percentage of flaws and impurifications.
Special grade coffee beans do not just fulfill the above quality criteria but are also produced under special social and ecological conditions. The "special" coffee grouping includes grades for the gourmet market, certified coffee from organic farming, noncertified coffee from organic farming and fair-trade coffee.
More money for "special grades"
Colombia's initial experiences from exporting special grades have shown that special grades can fetch 20-40 % higher prices than domestic prices for commercial grade coffee. This price-up is an incentive for producers to protect the environment and human health (i.e. to produce on an ecologically and socially sound basis). The higher price paid by consumers in industrialized countries is an expression of their solidarity with poor producers in the so-called "third world".
On behalf of the ACOC eco-farmers' association, the Instituto Mayor Campesino IMCA first contacted buyers of non-certified organic coffee (Equal Exchange), who accelerated the certification process. The pertinent procedures at OCIA in the United States were commenced, and the international certificate for organic coffee has now been awarded.
As more and more farmers are joining ACOC, contacts are now being taken up with potential coffee buyers such as fair trade organizations like Max Havelaar in Switzerland and other potential European outlets for organic coffee.
ExpocafÃ© dominates on the export market
Although ACOC has achieved considerable success at international level, it is faced with problems on the domestic scene. Colombia's coffee export sector is dominated by companies in the coffee association. These include ExpocafÃ© (the exporting company of the coffee cooperatives) and a small group of private exporters who fulfill the preconditions laid down by the Ministry of Foreign Trade under the control of the National Coffee Association. Small producers who want to export coffee independently often fail to meet these conditions.
There are two ways of exporting coffee in Colombia: an agreement can be negotiated with the association of coffee cooperatives and its exporting company ExpocafÃ© that they will support the exportation process, or agreement is reached with private exporters on an equitable compensation between the producer's economic interests and those of the exporters. The ACOC farmers decided to export via ExpocafÃ©.
The export procedure begins with direct negotiations between producer groups and importing companies: Prices, quality and scheduled shipping deadlines are agreed. At the same time ExpocafÃ© initiates the necessary steps to prepare export documents. Following quality controls the coffee is transported to the shipping port. Official papers and trading documents for this business are signed by the importing company as buyer and ExpocafÃ© as seller.
Export costs are rising
By December 1993 88,500 kg of organic coffee had been exported to the USA. The producers received a premium of 50 million Colombian Pesos (US $ 66,666) to invest in their plantations. The ACOC received 5 million Pesos (US $ 6,666) to perform its tasks.
In 1994 250 bags (17.5 tons) of coffee were first sold at a price of US$ 1.39 per pound, a second lot in September of 250 bags fetched US $ 2.19 per pound, almost 1/3 more income. Because of the higher coffee price the farmers did not receive a premium. The overall export costs rose during the same period from US $ 23,750 for 250 bags in July 1994 to US $ 41,250 in September. A fee also had to be paid to the National Coffee Fund (Fondo Nacional del CafÃ©) for each bag exported.
Market fluctuations lead to a higher dependence on ExpocafÃ©, because the small producers could not keep a breast of or understand all the movements on the stock exchange.
More influence for farmers
Small and medium-sized coffee producers in Colombia traditionally sell their crude coffee to middle-men or to coffee cooperatives. This is where the farmers' influence on the marketing process ends. Trading with organic coffee however gives producers the right to co-decide on their produce right up to its arrival in the port of shipment.
The ACOC farmers themselves negotiate their coffee selling price with the foreign customers. Once a contract has been agreed the ACOC supervises the subsequent phases such as quality control, the process of removing the pulp from the seeds, contacts with ExpocafÃ©, discussions on financial arrangements and decisions on the premiums paid out to the producers and the organization.
Mid 1993 a first step was made to process and market organic coffee for the domestic market under the trade name " CafÃ© Madremonte". 2,850 kg of Colombia's preferred coffee beans were bought for 1,067,500 Pesos (US $ 1,424). Roasting, grinding and transport costs amounted to 275,000 Pesos (US $ 367) and 1,500,000 Pesos (US $ 2,000) were used for packaging. 4,444 pounds of ground coffee we reproduced and sold at a price of 1,000 Pesos (US $ 1.33) per 500 g. At a gross total income of 4,444,000 Pesos (US $5,926), the profit margin amounted to 1,601,500 Pesos (US $ 2,135.33).
This first experience in processing coffee for the domestic market has now encouraged the ACOC farmers to achieve a higher added value from processing (roasting, grinding and packaging etc.). Profits are to benefit local and regional development.
First International organic coffee conference
The first international organic coffee conference, sponsored by the Mexican Association of Ecological Farmers (AMAE) and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) was held in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico April 11-14 1994.
Approximately 320 participants from 16 countries, both producers and traders, met there. JosÃ© E. Juarez Varela, of the Union de Ejidos de la Selva, adressed the conference from the point of view of his union of coffee growers, representing producers from 30 indigenous communities in Chiapas:
"We have come to this first International IFOAM Conference on Organic Coffee after a large process of preparation and discussion concentrating on three issues of major importance. That is, the construction of markets and the definition of norms on certification that guarantee the consumers the nature of the product they are requiring; the development, promotion and diffusion of an adequate technology for organic production in the sense that sustainable agriculture doesn't mean stop doing things but doing them in another way, nor renouncing the increase of productiviq but doing it another way; and finally the consolidation of social bases that are needed to impulse a project of this character.
The fall in prices (of coffee on the world market) has caused hundreds of thousands of small growers of this aromatic product all over the world to experience enormous financial difficulties. It has stimulated larger groups of growers to search for riches in the market with more rentability, such as organic coffee. At the same time, it has brought others to decline the intensive use of agrochemicals to increase production and combat plagues, and to reevaluate the use of organic compost and the labour force of family as a way of reducing production costs.
However, it wouldn't be just to state that economic motivations are the only or major factors responsible for the development of organic agriculture. At the same time, other motivations are important. First of all, the growing conscience among growers that it if neccessary to cultivate in harmony with the environment, instead of abusing it, to value the earth as a patrimony of humanity and to look after it for future generations."
Participative Impact Monitoring (PIM, see "gate " 3/93 and "gate » 1/95) was developed and tested between 1991 and 1994 by an international team of GATE/ISAT cooperation partners. Staff members of Fedecomin/Codecomin, the federation of mining cooperatives in La Paz, Bolivia report on their experiences in using PIM in their household store project.
Tne advisor-organization FAKT introduced us to PIM, which is both an instrument and method for networking the three different levels involved in our store-project: the grass-roots organizations, the parent organization and the financing agencies. PIM proved to be a valuable aid. It enabled us all to speak the same language during project planning, implementation and monitoring and when analyzing the problems that came up.
PIM consists of two strings: group-based impact monitoring and NGO-based impact monitoring. The first was applied by the housewives' committees, the latter by Fedecomin/Codecomin. At each level, four steps were followed to set up the monitoring system:
1. determine expectations and fears
2. select an indicator how the expectation/fear can easily be watched 3. determine the method to describe it
4. determine the instrument to record the findings.
Can customers pay their debts?
The household store was set up in March 1993 by thc house wives' committees of the three cooperatives Libertad, Porvenir and el Nevada. It is managed by the women. Many of the customers don't pay cash but have their bills chalked up for later payment.
1 Fears and expectations: The debts won't be paid and the shop will go bankrupt.
2. Indicator: Members who do not pay their debts on an ongoing basis are recorded in a register.
3. Method: A monthly debt register is set up.
4. Instrument: Overviews are drawn up for comparison.
The lack of transparency regarding the strops' turnover and financial situation is the chief problem. Only the manager and treasurer of each cooperative know about each member's outstanding payments. The members them selves do not have an overview of what they consume and what they owe. It was decided to hang out a list of each individual's arrears.
This kind of public monitoring had a striking effect: as nobody wanted to be at the top of the list of debtors, a big part of the debts were paid. And as long as the list is renewed and published once a month, the credits have not grown to any risky amounts any more.
Fulfilling the financial commitments?
The Cooperativa Kantuta, the cooperative members' investment project, undertook to finance the store project.
1. Fears and expectations: The project cannot meet its financial commitments.
2. Indicator: Loan repayment installments and payment of the Fedecomin dues are performed regularly.
3. Method: The loan redemption targets are compared with the actual installment payments made.
4. Instrument: A loan repayments graph is drawn up.
At the initial meeting the members are informed of the details and the amount of the loan. During a second meeting the grass-roots members and the management jointly decide on how and at what rate the loan is to be redeemed.
Does the store earn enough?
At the level of the parent organization Codecomin, the store project IS reviewed as a whole, both from the operators' view point (income from sales) and the financiers' view point (loan repayments).
1. Fears and expectations: The loan repayment installments cannot be raised.
2. Indicator: The loan amount raised for a given reporting period does not exceed the store's income.
3. Method: The sales figures are recorded on a record sheet each month.
4. Instrument: A graph is drawn up which compares sales figures for each of the three cooperatives involved (in thousands per month).
The members of the cooperatives, the mÃners' wives managing the store and Codecomin then obtain a clear picture of the store's economic situation. They become a ware that income is not used solely for buying new stock but also to repay debts.
The store's financial situation is registered by the observation team. Results are presented at the monthly meetings using coloured overviews and graphs. The PIM Codecomin working group also draws up monthly records on the debt situation and the store's income. They are presented and compared at meetings between the cooperatives and the parent organization Codecomin.
What has PIM achieved?
Participative Impact Monitoring has generated numerous positive Impacts lor implementing our store project. The members of the cooperatives have become aware that they are responsible for meeting their loan commitments.
Despite widespread illiteracy and "machismo", women co-decide on how to solve the stores' problems. PIM helps to improve the actual living conditions. During the project for example the people were sensitized to the importance of buying foodstuffs rich In nutrients, not Just for manual workers but also for raising healthy and well developed children.
The members' professional skills were used for the welfare of the cooperatives. PIM made it easier for all members to become involved in the various project activities, motivated them and showed them the potentials and limits of the work.
There are indicators that administrative procedures are carried out on a more appropriate, up-to-date and transparent basis. Cooperatives appreciated being kept informed during the meetings and being given the opportunity to co-decide on what information should be passed on to the external members of the cooperative.
Introducing AT Forum: AGEE and EWA
A wide variety of organizations have joined forces in AT Forum NGO-GTZ. In this issue "gate" profiles two members who joined the forum in spring 1994: the Association for Development Anthropology (Arbeitsgemeinschaft fÃ¼r Entwicklungsethnologie e.V., AGEE) and the Development Workshop Austria (Entwicklungswerkstatt Austria, EWA).
Association for Development Anthropology
The Association for Development Anthropology (AGEE), based in Cologne, was established in 1991 by anthropologists, scientists from neighboring disciplines and practitioners from development cooperation. It presently has some 250 members and centres its work on such areas as crafts and trades, (environmental) technology, agriculture and forestry, health and socio-economics. AGEE aims to transfer knowledge from anthropological-sociological practice and methodology into the practical and conceptual work of development cooperation.
international seminars, debates,publication and its journal " Entwicklungstechnologie", are ways of ensuring an interchange of experience between university anthropology and practice. Development anthropology centers on people. The world over, technologies have always been developed or further developed as a tool for or against people.
AGEE's work is to help ensure that the affected people can really use the instruments in development co-operation as tools and control these tools. For some time the term "appropriate" has been introduced to incorporate this idea - generally combined with a technology of some kind. Up to now AT mainly related to culture-specific implements and tools and the tools, procedures and inputs needed to manufacture them. Nowadays, major indicators for the appropriateness of a technology are its compatibility with the social, ecological and economic systems.
The AT concept rests on the recognition that the production and consumption patterns of the industrial society have reached their limits, but nonetheless, it still consists of a transfer of knowledge, procedures and technologies from the north to the south. Although the significance of a south-south exchange is hardly questioned, approaches which postulate that the north should learn from the south still have an exotic flair. Local knowledge systems, actions and experiences which have developed over decades and often over centuries are original contributions. The north should tackle the question of their usability much more seriously. AGEE is convinced that the south has much to offer in this area. Local knowledge systems which are indeed highly developed from the ecological viewpoint, constitute a wide reservoir of complex knowledge and socio-organizational orientations which have hardly been acknowledged or used to date even though they demonstrate lifestyles and experience which balance the needs of the environment and of human beings and have been practiced over long periods of time.
In the "after UNCED" era, "technical" solutions in the narrower sense are hardly capable of meeting development policy challenges even though they may be described as "appropriate". To be sustainable, solutions require an active reform of society by the affected people, i.e. those confronted with the problems. People's potential knowledge, creative adaptability, interdisciplinarity and organizational powers to achieve a "sustainable" development are far from having been mobilized and hardly heeded in development concepts. One rare example in which these considerations are being applied in an international context is the United Nations Convention on Desertification Control. Not least following the urge of NGOs, this first UN convention on sustainable development following the Rio conference expressly dictates participation by the population at all relevant decision-making levels and in all contexts, including the political ones.
The constitutional factors of a modern "appropriate" definition of AT include inner-replicability and a wider transfer of knowledge and technology as a "multi-directional-exchange" which also incorporates the south-tonorth direction. This process of societal reform must be initiated before local development potentials and capacities can be promoted and strengthened. The debate must look more deeply into how to achieve intensive restructuring in order to promote people's own capabilities. Forms of technical cooperation which will anchor this in terms of awareness and physical inputs are still lacking. AGEE would like to co-design and advance that part of the critical debate which we have to hold in the north.
Development Workshop Austria
The Development Workshop Austria (EWA) was set up as a public benefit association in Salzburg in 1986 with the goal of promoting regional development processes in West Africa.
EWA cooperates with NGOs in Senegal and Burkina Faso, helping to improve the social and economic living conditions there on a sustainable basis. Great value is placed on fitting in with local culture (traditions) and the natural, ecological conditions. Target group capacity-building is to be achieved by means of training, motivation and active participation in the c ecis i o n m a k ing and implementation processes.
Projects focus on the management of natural resour-ces and promoting manual crafts.
The goals of the resource management projects are:
• To establish "land use planning centres" as a forecasting instrument and for decentralized and participative land use planning;
• Inventorize existing resources, draw up professional resource use models and gradually apply these in micro projects (small-scale village projects), e.g. for forestry and fruit tree cultivation, water, biomass, cropping (soils);
• To induce environmental rehabilitation by means of resource protection measures which stabilize the populations' habitat and are accepted and carried by the population;
• To intensify biological pest control and avoid "environmental poisons";
• To establish a rudimentary technology database on naturals resources (water, soil, planes) and wells.
The goals of manual crafts promotion projects are:
• To create the institutional prerequisites for improved, economic activities by crafts people in rural areas;
• To provide basic training and upgrading for crafts people and technical operators;
• To improve servicing, maintenance and repai rfacilities for technical equipment, machines, small vehicles and other technical equipment;
•To support the development of innovative technology
• To support women m Improving traditional work methods by means of new technologies and production inputs which match the social, economic and natural conditions.
EWA understands "appropriate technology" to be a technology which fits in with the needs and capabilities of people and is primarily geared to the core problems of lacking capital, unemployment and low technico-economic knowledge. "Appropriate technology" is to help reduce the social, economic and political dependence. This requires training in "understanding technology" and promoting and supporting the individual's own creative powers so as to raise individual and collective problem-solving capabilities.
Technology must be accessible to the users and be mastered by them. This is the only way that people can benefit from it.
When introducing new technologies and forms of application the local lifestyle and traditions, skills and knowledge must be taken into account. The environmental compatibility of the technologies used should also be reviewed to ensure that they do not jeopardize the maintenance and further development of the natural habitat.
A large problem facing Sahel countries is that poverty forces people to behave vis-Ã vis the environment in a manner which often thwarts efforts to maintain the natural resources. EWA is assisting the Senegalese NGOs specifically in manufacturing and using manual water pumps, oil presses etc. Based on experience from "gate" a manual hydraulic caritÃ© oil press (which can also be used for other oil seeds) was developed in Burkina Faso together with the women there. EWA also helps in processing locally produced oils and greases to soap and creams.
Entwicklungsethnologie e. (A GEE)
c/o Institut fur Volkerkunde Universitat Koln
Albertus^Magnus-Platz D-S0923 Koln
Phone: ++ 49(0)2 21/55 80 98 Fax: ++49(0)2 21/55 44 40
A-5061 Salzburg/Glasenbach Phone: ++43(0)6 62/62 7112 Fax: ++43(0)662/624812
New member of the AT Forum: InterRed
Stuttgart - The network InterRed cooperacion e.V. is a new member of the AT Forum NGO-GTZ. At their April meeting at Bernhauser Forst near Stuttgart the organizations and individuals in the AT Forum unanimously voted to admit the association proposed by AGEE (Association for Development Anthropology).
InterRedwasfounded three years ago in Frankfurt/Main. The NGO's objective is to promote projects with development work and the transfer of appropriate technologies, above all for power generation. Special importance is attached to grassroots and sustainable projects. Geographically the work will be concentrated in Latin America, and above all Cuba. InterRed cooperates with other NGOs, includingAT Forum members KATE (Centre and Working team for Appropriate Technology) and FAKT (Association for Appropriate Technology). After losing KÃ¼belstiftungduetostaff-shorta ges,the forum has now grown to eighteen members again with the admission of InterRed.
North-South Centre "artefact" opened
GlÃ¼cksburg - "artefact", a centre for appropriate technology and international development cooperation was opened at the end of May in GlÃ¼cksburg on the Baltic coast. Specialist seminars and courses are offered at this first "energy teaching park" in Germany for interested parties from countries of the North and South.
Participants from industrialised countries can familiarise themselves with resource saving, socially and economically responsible technologies in the energy and construction sectors. "Only through this development work in the North" can working with partners from the South and East become "credible", the artefact staff explain. For this second target group, "tailormade programmes» are conducted on rural water supply and disposal, ways of using re
generative energy, and building to suit the surroundings.
The centre consists of a clay built seminar house with 24 beds and an energy park. In the park are units demonstrating wind, water and solar energy, biogas and biomass.
artefact e. V
More information on Hydrocarbon Technology
Eschborn - The GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft fÃ¼r Technische Zusammenarbeit) Information Service on Hydrocarbon Technology is expanding it's services. Contact persons for the CFC-PhaseOut-Project are Dr. Peter Baz and Dr. Klaus Meyersen (Advisor). Information on the following topics is being collected:
• reports by German domestiC refrigerator producers on their experiences in converting factories to hydrocarbon technology
• publicly available knowhow on the use of hydrocarbon technology
• technical reports on adapted compressors, safety equipment, filling stations etc.
• reports from phase-out projects in Article 5 countries
• general papers on hydrocarbon technology
• questions frequently asked about hydrocarbon technology
• directory and bibliography on hydrocarbon technology
A provisional hydrocarbon information service 15 available on-line via GTZ-BBS modem 00496196797396.
To use our full information service please send your request via e-mail: GTZ-GATE-FCKW@GEOD.
Campaign for an international Court of the Environment
Berlin - "We want to set up a guarantee that human rights can be sustained on the basis of an intact environment» is how Alfred Rest, expert in international law, from Cologne (Germany) described the goals of the Campaign to establish an international Court of the Environment, started by various German and international organizations on April 2 on the occasion of the climate summit in Berlin.
In order to guarantee human rights based on an intact environment, the campaign targets a Court of the Environment, to be institutionalized at the International Court in The Hague, which can be addressed not only by countries but also by private individuals and NGOs.
The launching of the campaign took the form of a "tribunal» against those responsible for the global energy and environmental disasters. The environmental protection organization Global 2000, for example, had initiated proceedings against the governments of the USA and various European countries and against several atomic energy utilities. The accusation was put forward that, by constructing atomic power stations in Eastern Europe the accused were consciously jeopardizing the lives, health and property of the peoples of Europe.
Such "tribunals" are to be a regular event accompanying all international governmental conferences until the goal of establishing an Court of the Environment has been achieved. A working group was formed in Berlin which includes three well known legal personalities: Alfred Rest, expert in international law, Cologne, Hans Jonkmann of the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague and Amadeo Postiglione,Judge at Italy's Supreme Court.
The idea of setting up an International Court of the Environment originates from Amadeo Postiglione. It was on his initiative that the International Court of the Environment Foundation ICEF was established in Rome in 1992. The Foundation now has committees in more than 15 countries, including Argentina, Germany, France, Greece, Japan and the USA.
Further Information from International Court of the Environment Foundation ICEF
Palazzo di Guistizia
Piazza Cavour I
- 00193 Rome (Italy)
Phone: + 39 6 6868597
+ 39 6 6872734
Fax: + 39 668300783
+ 39 6 6874170
Environmental education: "Magic Eye Campaign" in Thailand
Bangkok-"A! A! Don't throw anything away. The magic eye will see it!" This command is to be read on the metropolitan buses in Thailand's capital city Bangkok.
The "Magic Eye Campaign" of the Thai Environmental and Community Development Association, which is putting a lot into advertising, is one of many campaigns promoting environmental awareness in Thailand and other south-east Asian countries.
The campaign also includes traveling exhibitions that are shown in villages. In Thai television a puppet theatre family puts across environmental and health problems in traditional shadow plays. As well as various other nature-protection groups, Buddhist monks are involved in environmental protection, achieving their greatest success in rural districts. For example, a monk prevented a local woodland from being cut down in a northern Thailand village by hanging trees with the yellow robes monks wear and warning "Anyone who lays hand on these trees is, figuratively speaking, laying hand on a monk. "
Thailand and other countries of the ESCAP region (the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) agreed on a joint action plan for environmental education as long ago as 1985. The key idea was recognizing that the population will only develop environmental awareness if it is communicated by native experts. Today's fifteen education centres in eleven Asian countries are coordinated by Chula longkorn University in Bangkok. The top address for environmental studies is the Asian Institute for Technology (AIT) in Bangkok.
Further information: Asian Institute for Technology (ANT) PO Box 2754 Bangkok 10501 Thailand
"Environmental News" ESCAP, UN Building Rajadamnem Avenue Bangkok 10200 Thailand
700,000 signatures for environmental Marshall Plan
Berlin-Some 700,000 German citizens have signed a petition to implement an "ecological Marshall Plan" (see "gate" 2/94, p. 5 I). The initiators of the Marshall Plan project presented the petition to Federal Minister for the Environment Angela Merkel at the Climate Conference in Berlin at the beginning of April.
They called upon environmental politicians tÃ³ adopt the CO2 goal of "minus 20 percent by 2005» to promote renewable energy much more strongly, and to introduce an airport tax of five pfennigs per passenger flight hour. According to the journalist Franz Alt, who initiated the campaign together with four politicians, this tax alone would raise 100 billion marks a year world-wide and make it possible to launch an environmental Marshal Plan
Climate Summit in Berlin: "A side step"
Berlin - "A side step» is how Espen Ronnebeg, delegate from the Marshall-Islands described the results of the UN Climate Summit held in Berlin from March 28 to April 7. Most observers shared his views.
As early as the 1992 Rio conference, the industrialized nations had declared their intention to bring carbon dioxide emissions back to the 1990 level by the year 2000. The aim of the first Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change was to ratify this intention. But the conference found this to be no longer reasonable. The wording agreed in the "Berlin Mandate" only targeted a procedure to draw up measures and quantifiable goals for limiting and reducing anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions not covered by the Montreal Protocol. Specified time frames are to be set up for the years 2005, 2010 and 2020. The proposal by AOSIS (the Association of Small Island States) to reduce CO, emissions by 20 % by the year 2005 was only to be "included for consideration".
Climate protection in development aid
Bonn - Germany is making a mayor contribution to protecting the earth's climate particularly through its development aid projects in the Ã©nergy and forestry sectors, and Germany's Development Aid Minister Carl-Dieter Spranger documented this in the papers he presented in Bonn on the occasion of the Berlin Climate Conference.
The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has made renewable sources of energy a focal area for support and earmarked more than DM 200 million alone for solar energy activities between the years 1974 and 1991. The introduction of biogas plants in Thailand has brought about considerable success in reducing clear cutting of forests. Mr. Spranger continued that since 1988 BMZ has allocated more than DM 250 million per year to the conservation and sustainable use of forest lands.
In addition to these funds from the BMZ budget, the German Government has allocated a total of DM 10 million as special funds to draw up so-called country studies. GTZ Division 415 is implementing these measures (seegate 1/94pp37-40).
"These islands are nice for holidays, but who really needs them?" A delegate from an industrialized country on the occasion of the Berlin Climate
Efforts to set up a binding protocol on greenhouse gas emission reduction therefore failed. Nevertheless there are some positive signals: 42 developing countries including India, China and Brazil supported the AOSIS proposal at the conference. It was also approved by the 159 mayors of the world's cities who met on the fringe of the conference.
The Berlin Climate Summit could be cormpared to a game of poker with four players: on the one hand Australia, New Zealand, Japan and above all the USA who refused to commit themselves to a concrete emission reduction target. The second player is the European Union, who is well sensitized to its responsibility but not able to put over its stand. The OPEC countries vehemently represented their oil-exporting interests. The group of developing countries supported by the AOSIS placed the responsibility for the threatening climate disaster fully in the lap of the industrialized nations.
The nature conservation organization World Wildlife Fund (WWF) was able to demonstrate to the Climate Summit that industrial development can also take an environmentally-friendly course. Numerous countries of the South are focusing their efforts on raising the energy efficiency of their industrial plants and utilizing renewable sources of energy. In India, for example, the use of wind and solar energy is growing in significance, and if other countries follow this example the WWF feels that a new industrial revolution could be underway in the South.
From the development policy viewpoint Peter Mucke of the German NGO "Environment and Development Forum" underlined the potential of the agreement on the pilot phase for Joint Implementation. Joint Implementation allows industrialized countries to outsource more efficient technologies and use them at lower cost in developing countries. For developing countries Joint Implementation means access to a transfer of finance and technology which has been demanded for years but which never materialized.
The Climate Action Network set up by the non-governmental organizations involved in the Berlin Summit proved to be a durable working structure which permitted a widely facetted representation of the North and the South at the conference even though they were not successful in having their chief aims accepted. Peter Mucke recommends for the future that NGO work should be less oriented to such large summit meetings but rather concenbate on ongoing, critical monitoring of politics and policies at national and international levels.
World Women's Conference: conflict concerning the Action Plan
New York- Many governments and women's organizations were disappointed with the last preparatory meeting for the World Women's Conference to be held in Peking. At the meeting in March /April in New York no success was achieved on a draft Action Plan for Equality, Development and Peace. The most controversial passages were on health and human rights.
The Vatican and several Catholic and Islamic governments refused to give their approval on women's right of self determination on sexuality and reproduction. These states demand that the Action Plan to be adopted in Peking places greater weight on maternity and the role of the family.
China had brackets put around all passages which referred to the universal applicability of human rights. The governments of the North refused economic reasons being mentioned as a cause of the growing poverty of women worldwide. The USA and the 15 countries of the European Union, for example, were against specitying the increased importance of translational companies in the Action Plan.
The 1400 representatives of Non Governmental Organizations expressed their dissatisfaction in New York with the course of the negotiations. They said that steps backward had been taken and criticized the political and economic analysis in the draft as "fully inadÃ©quate". Widespread disappointment was addressed at the governments not having promised any new funding for women's programs.
"The delegates as hosts invited the NGOs Into their sitting room, but then disappeared into the kitchen to cook, keeping their guests waiting and hungry," Gertrude Mongella from Tanzania, the Secretary General of the Govemment Conference.
The spokeswomen criticized the lack of transparency of the governmental negotiations compared to earlier conferences, deploring that independent women's organizations had hardly any scope for influence. NGO women were not allowed access to the decisive negotiation committees.
NGOs also feel they are being "lead by the nose" by the Chinese government's sudden decision to relocate the planned NGO forum, to be held from August 30 to September 8, to a tourist complex outside Peking - 45 kilometers away from the site of the conference of governments.
The organizers of the NGO forum voiced criticism at the beginning of May that the center consists of 70 different buildings, some still just unfinished shells, dispersed over an area covering 6 km2. These and other deficits provide good reason to consider holding the forum in another country.
The World Council of Churches threatened to withdraw its participation in the World Women's Conference if the UN does not allow organizations to participate freely and on the basis of equality. Applications from more than 500 women's NGOs to be accredited at the conference have been refused.
GTZ projects and women
Eschborn - "The evaluation shows that there is still a wide gap between development policy aims and reality". This was the commentary of the Gender and Women' Furtherance panel team of the Gesellschaft fÃ¼r Technische Zusammenarbeit early this year on an evaluation of GTZ projects in respect of women.
GTZ projects completed in 1993 were evaluated for their effects from various aspects. Some of the analysts' results regarding the importance of the conducted projects for women are as follows:
• Women formed part of the target group in approximately 60 % of all projects.
• A gender-specific target group analysis was conducted in 7.2% of all projects.
• 18% of all projects had good or very good effects for women, but 28.2 % of all schemes had positive effects for men.
• 32.8 % of all projects had a neutral or no effect on women this figure was only 19.5 % for men.
Controlling crop pests and diseases
Rosalyn Rappaport: Controlling Crop Pest and Diseases.
Macmillan, London 1993. 106pp. ISBN: 0-333-57216-5. (Tropical Agricultural Extension Handbooks).
This handbook was written for the men and the women of the Agricultural Extension Services and all the other teachers and trainers who act in a similar capacity. It gathers together the background knowledge necessary for a basic understanding of what pests and diseases are, the agents which cause them and the principles of combatting them. Then it demonstrates practical methods of pest and disease control in detail. Finally it gives examples and solutions of the problems in a village context. These can be used by extension staff in their own work. In choosing which materials to introduce to this guide stress is on availability. Products which are hard to find are not advocated - the exception being the knapsack sprayer, for which no useful alternative exists. References and suggestions for further reading are listed in the bibliography.
Beyond farmer first
Ian Scoones,John Thompson: Beyond farmer first. Rural people's knowledge, agricultural research and extension practice. Intermediate Technology Publications.
London 1994. 301 pp. ISBN: 1-85339-250-2. (IT Publications, 103-105 Southampton Row, London WCI B 4HH, UK).
The purpose of this book is to reveal how agricultural research and extension, far from being discrete, rational acts, are in fact part of a process of coming to terms with conflicting interests and viewpoints, a process in which choices are made, alliances formed, exclusions effected and world views imposed. The book contains an edited selection of the case studies and discussion papers prepared for the 1992 workshop. It is divided into three main points. It starts with theoretical reflections on knowledge, power und practice (Part 1). This is followed by a detailed discussion of methodological innovations, applications and challenges (Part 2) and concludes with an examination of process for transforming institutes and changing policies (Part 3).
Shaping industrial society
Enquete Commission of the German Bundestag on the "Protection of Humanity and the Environment" (ed.): Shaping Industrial Society. Prospects for Sustainable Management of Substance Chains and Material Flows.
Economica Verlag, Bonn 1995. 84 pp. ISBN: 3-87081374-1 (Economica Verlag GmbH, Bonn, Germany).
This is the abridged version of the final report on "Protection of Humanity and the Environment" submitted by the German Bundestag's Enquete Commission. It summarizes the Commission's key findings with regard to a blueprint for a new materials control policy. The term "materials control policy" encompasses all policies, which have the aim of influencing not only the types of raw materials recovered, including their scope and use, but also the treatment and storage of waste, in order to safeguard a long-term supply of resources for our economy, in view of the finite nature of resources and the limited load-bearing capacity of the environmental media. The fol lowing aspects are treated in this book: Models for a materials control policy, examples of materials flows, substance chain management and instruments of a materials control policy (see the interview with Ernst Schwanhold, chairman of the Enquete Commission, in gate 3/94, pp 4- 10).
Theatre for development
Eckhard Breitinger (ed.): Theatre for Development/ Theatre au Service du DÃ©veloppement. No. 247 of
"Schriftenreihe der GTZ".
RoÃŸdorf 1994, 80 pp., ISBN 3-98010674-8 (TZ-Verlagsgesellschaft, P.O. Box 1164, D-64373 RoÃŸdorf, Germany)
Especially in Third World countries, "theatre" is to be considered a specific instrument of development projects to reach the target groups, i.e. the people who are directly affected by the activities, results and outcome of a project. They should be empowered to participate m planing, designing and implementing development processes. This impressively illustrated book, published in English and French by experts from Uganda and Germany, demonstrates how this approach is realised in Uganda. This is the case m two projects concerning Basic Health Services and AIDS Control (see report "Theatre for development brings empowerment", in gate 1/95, p. 33).
Note: Please order books, annotated in gate's "bookbox" directly from the publisher
19 Sept. - 6 Oct. 1995
Delft, the Netherlands
This course provides - in lectures, workshops and field visists - training on polder development and management for senior civil and agricultural engineers. Topics include drainage and irrigation construction and improvement methods and operation, maintenance and management options. The organiser is the International Institute for Infrastructural, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering (IHE).
RO. Box 3015
2601 DA Delft, the Netherlands
Phone: + 31 15/15 17 00
Fax: + 3115/122921
31 Oct.-11 Nov. 1995
Modern animal feed manufacturing
Barneveld, the Netherlands
In this course the IPC Livestock Barneveld College, a practical agricultural training centre, will provide practically orientated up-to-date information in the field of animal feed manufacturing. The emphasis is on technological aspects, animal nutrition and feed formulation, economic aspects and quality control.
IPC Livestock Barneveld College
Head Department of International Studies and Cooperation Programmes
P.O. Box 64
3770 AB Barneveld, the Netherlands Phone: + 31 (0) 34 20-1 48 81 Fax: + 31 (0) 34 20-9 28 13
1 - 3 November 1995
San JosÃ©, Costa Rica
Small-scale ecological agricultural projects from Latin America, Africa and Asia will present their activities at this international fair for bioproducts. The organizers are the Costa Rica Chamber of Commerce and the national Association for Ecological Agriculture.
Details from: Costa Rica Chamber of Commerce 1114-lOOO San JosÃ©, Costa Rica Phone: + 5 06 /2 21-00 05 Fax: +506/233-7091 and GTZ - Mr. Ulrich Lepel Dag-Hammarskjold-Weg 1- S 65760 Eschborn, Germany Phone: + 61 96/79-3488
Fax:+ 61 96/79-7426
According to our readers' survey, sustainable agriculture is a highly requested subject. Therefore we will introduce current and important topics on the promotion of sustainability in smallholder agriculture. Under the title "Sustainable Agriculture", we plan to cover the following topics:
• the seed issue: on-farm conservation or recourse to international gene banks
• organic cotton: how to make this export crop part of sustainable farming
• interview with Ranjith de Silva on local networking and IFOAM, Asia
• Participatory Technology Development (PTD) in Burkina Faso
• appropriate agriculture alternatives in Nepal
• Mexico: urban agriculture
This issue will again have a regional focus. The working title is: "The work of NGOs in Latin America". Reports on experience from numerous NGOs will provide an insight into such subjects as how their work is influenced by ethnic conflicts, decentralization and the drug problem.
We look forward to any reports, information and ideas from gate readers.
GATE/GTZ: Postbox 5180, D-65726 Eschborn. Publications with ISBN-Number may be ordered directly from: Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn GmbH, P.O.Box 300944, D-51338 Leverkusen, Germany.
Ludwig Sasse/Christopher Kellner/Ainea Kimaro: Improved Biogas Unit for Developing Countries.
GATE/Vieweg, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden, 1991,98 pp., ISBN 3-528-02063-Ã³.
The book reflects the findings and conclusions of seven years of detailed adaption work done by the Biogas Extension Service at the Centre for Agricultural Mechanization and Rural Technology (CAMARTEC) in Tanzania.
Hans-JÃ¼rgen Wiemer/ Frans Willem Korthals Altes: MÃ©thodes artisanales de transformation des olÃ©agineux.
GATE/Vieweg, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden, 1993, 134pp., ISBN 3-528-02070-9.
Le prÃ©sent ouvrage vise Ã combler une lacune d'information dans le domaine des technologies d'extraction d'huile vÃ©gÃ©tale Ã petite Ã©chelIc et intermÃ©diares.
L'ouvrage dÃ©crit non seulement l'Ã©quipement technique mais aussi les aspects agronomiques et socio-Ã©conomiques et se livres Ã une analyse financiÃ¨re dans le cadre d'Ã©tudes de cast
Deutsche Gesellschaft fÃ¹r Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) -GATE-: Participatory Impact Monitoring. General Information.
GATE, Eschborn 1995, 137pp.
P.I.M. (Participatory Impact Monitoring) is designed to gear projects to the objectives of the self-help groups and to make the impacts observed by the various actors criterion for project progress and success. This information package contains general information on PIM - a list of keywords and abstracts and selected reading materials. It is designed to serve as a resource guide to evaluators, NGO staff, librarians and anyone who is interested in becoming more familiar with this very important part of project management by self-help organizations.contents