Focus: Land Resources
Location: Chirinos, Peru
The Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera La Prosperidad de Chirinos (C.A.C. Chirinos) is a coffee cooperative tucked away in the slopes of the tropical Andes in northern Peru. The cooperative initially sold its coffee on the local market, bringing only modest profits to its small-scale farmers. However, in the early 2000s, Root Capital helped them sell their high-quality coffee for premium prices to fair trade, organic and specialty buyers in the United States and Europe.
More recently, La Roya, a fungal disease that weakens and eventually kills coffee trees, has been spreading across Central America and northern Peru. Coffee rust is not a new problem, but it has been aggravated by climate change, aging coffee trees, and underinvestment in agriculture. Since 2012, one billion dollars in revenue and 500,000 coffee-related jobs have been lost.
To fight roya, C.A.C. Chirinos has begun offering services to invest in its members’ resilience and the long-term sustainability of its core business, coffee. With the help of Root Capital, the cooperative has invested in a state-of-the-art organic fertilizer plant which not only saves members money but also helps them fortify soil, manage pests and increase their yields by up to 60 percent. In addition, they have replaced vulnerable coffee trees with stronger plants that can withstand the challenges of climate change.
Looking forward, C.A.C. Chirinos has been exploring the viability of expanding into cocoa, farm-raised trout, small animals and other livestock for income diversification and food security purposes. They will also continue to invest in health, technology, organic gardening and youth leadership programs to build long-term resilience.
Environmental Impact: Avoided use of harmful chemicals and protected biodiversity
Credits: Root Capital
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