Circular Cherry

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This week our FairChain training squad headed out to Limu for a new event in the series of farmer training. Topic: soil fertility. That’s a main element in our curriculum, as the farmers are aiming to radically increase their yield, making their way towards a living income.

For a higher yield, farmers need to feed their soil with nutrients. Did you know that the skin of the coffee cherry contains essential nutrients? Then consider this pulp lying idly on large heaps throughout all Limu region. We did the math: only in the municipality of Limu Kosa, 6.893.000 kilos of coffee pulp is available. Annually.

So days before the actual training started, the FairChain squad took the Isuzu truck and transformed themselves into garbage men and women. Since most neighboring coffee producers don’t care much for the pulp, we could actually pick it up for free. So we’re cleaning up a huge waste stream and creating nutrients at the same time. How?

Well that’s what the training was about. On 4 demo plots the farmers worked closely together to produce compost and biochar on the spot. Biochar, bio what? It’s a homemade organic fertilizer, made from biomass via pyrolysis. In our case, the coffee pulp is the biomass. After a long day of practicing in groups on the demo sites, each of the farmers went home loaded with coffee pulp.

In the weeks to come, the FairChain trainers will visit the farmers, to give support where needed and to report how many farmers adopted the lessons learned. The ones that did, will reap the benefits in the harvest of 2018.