Last week, coffee growers from the Manuel Cornejo Astorga Parish meet at La Hesperia for their monthly meeting. This local group comes together to promote coffee cultivation as an alternative for social and economic development and conservation, as opposed to relying on traditional agriculture (cattle and short-rotation crops) practices in the area.
In the morning, the group participated in workshops covering germination techniques and coffee nursery management conducted by representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Con Quito- a Quito based NGO that promotes sustainable local economic development.
After breaking for lunch, representatives from VECO also held a workshop on the importance of local coffee growers associations, and how banding together can make the individual farms stronger and more competitive in the marketplace. VECO is an Belgian NGO that is working with the local growers to promote fair and sustainable marketplace.
Arabica high altitude coffee is some of the best in the world and its sustainable cultivation in the cloud forest is a vital step in preserving the area as a whole by converting high impact agricultural land into long rotation coffee cultivation.