GCP and OIRSA agree partnership to work towards coffee farmer prosperity in Latin American countries

The Regional International Organization for Agricultural Health (OIRSA) and the Global Coffee Platform (GCP) have signed a letter of understanding establishing the bases for technical and administrative collaboration in the OIRSA member countries, for the joint execution of actions and programs that allow sustainable coffee growing. The partnership was signed during a virtual ceremony with representatives of GCP Secretariat, GCP Honduras and OIRSA, on November 29. 

This partnership will aim at promoting effective large-scale adoption of integrated management in coffee cultivation in the nine countries where OIRSA works: Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Dominican Republic. To address and overcome systemic challenges on coffee farms, in coffee communities and the ecosystem, and to develop a more sustainable and prosperous coffee sector, the partners will focus on enabling access to educational material, technology and incentives for producers, and monitoring along the supply chain, allowing uptake of sustainable practices including responsible use of agrochemicals. 

“GCP considers the formalization of this collaboration to be an excellent opportunity, as the challenges of the coffee sector include the responsible use of agrochemicals or integrated pest management, which are very relevant to improving agronomic productivity in coffee growing,” said Annette Pensel, GCP Executive Director. 

OIRSA is an international organization focused on supporting the efforts of Member States related healthy agricultural production, strengthening of quarantine systems, food safety and sustainable development of the population, facilitating international trade. It has worked actively in the management of pests such as the Coffee Berry Borer. This disease has led to the excessive use of pesticides in many cases to maintain coffee productivity. 

“We see OIRSA’s expertise in these topics as essential to contribute to practical and measurable solutions towards reaching our 2030 goal and beyond,” added Pensel. 

“OIRSA is fully committed and involved in this partnership. The coffee sector needs and deserves it, because the socioeconomic impact coffee has in our regions is strategic and fundamental for many communities,” said Raúl Rodas, Executive Director of the organization. 

The cooperation will initially be developed in Honduras, where OIRSA will be a key partner for GCP and the Plataforma de Café Sostenible de Honduras (PCSH, the Honduras Sustainable Coffee Platform) and the implementation of the GCP Country Plan for Farmer Prosperity. For Guillermo Alvarado, GCP Program Manager Honduras, the participation of OIRSA will be invaluable for the implementation of local and global collective actions on topics such as the responsible use of agrochemicals. “We are delighted and envision a very fruitful alliance,” added Alvarado. 

“Without coffee there is no tomorrow, and this is true for the future of many communities, of huge regions of Honduras and Central America, who literally make their living of coffee,” concluded Rodas.

Guillermo Alvarado Downing

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