Seed verification for healthy, genetically pure and Organic SEEDLINGS.
One of the biggest problems that the JCFC is currently facing is that those who want to plant more high quality coffee do not have access to confirmed varieties nor healthy seedlings for planting. This leads farmers to either cultivate their own, which takes serious technical training to produce properly raised and healthy seedlings, or they can purchase overpriced seedlings from the Lao government which are almost always diseased and grown with chemical fertilizers causing them to struggle or die when they are re-planted in organically maintained soils.
One must remember that a coffee tree produces income for up to 30 years, so if you plant a bad seedling, you are doomed to dramatic increases in pest and disease as well as low productivity for decades to come. Healthy seedlings (and healthy soil) are one of, if not the most critical aspect of successful coffee growing.
world coffee research (Wcr) IDENTIFIES GLOBAL Problem IN THE COFFEE SECTOR
"According to individual country reports, over 40% of coffee trees around the world are too old and require replanting in the next five years. Since the coffee sector has limited certified seed production, the risk to farmers is that the seeds for new trees are not guaranteed to conform to quality, genetic purity and variety standards. The lack of certified seed and seedling schemes in coffee results in sometimes poor quality plants and seeds and fraudulent seed purchases, which lowers productivity at the farm level." Read full article.
Fortunately, this year the JCFC is conducting a Filanthrope supported gift exchange with the Misfit Foundation a subsidiary of Misfit, Inc. Anyone who chooses to pledge towards that program has the option to receive a thank-you gift of coffee coming from that particular community. In essence, gift-exchange allows coffee drinkers to directly support a development program through a tax-deductible contribution. As thanks, the community wishes to send you some of their finest coffee as a way of saying thank you.
This means you do not buy coffee from a community, but instead develop a community. Drinking coffee becomes the result of your direct, traceable, charitable impact on the community which grew the coffee you drink.
The program, in cooperation with the World Coffee Research organization, involves collecting DNA from the best varieties identified over the years, identifying the exact variety of each tree, and re-growing each variety specifically. This program is the first of its kind in mainland Southeast Asia, and will serve to act as a recovery program to identify the rare and valuable varieties which exist in the Bolaven Plateau from the past 150 years. This allows for JCFC members (and indeed other farmers) to finally have access to true-to-type varieties, healthy seedlings, and the opportunity to continually improve their coffee.
This year, Filanthrope has partnered with Bonfire Coffee in Carbondale, CO who will be roasting on behalf of the communities. About 400, $20 pledges will be made and 400 bags of thank-you coffee will be sent to the donors. This gift-exchange program will allow for the Lao people to build an organically-cultivated seedling nursery, which will amount to 10,000 healthy seedlings per year. This means every 20USD pledge will provide 25 healthy seedlings for a farmer this year and every other year herein after. For more information on the dynamics of gift-exchange, please follow this link Click Here