Gender equality and inclusion for coffee traders in Nicaragua

Woman in agriculture

Gender equality and social inclusion in an investment project focused on resilient coffee production in Nicaragua, is supported by the Origination Facility of the Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD). The company, Exportadora Atlantic S.A. (EXPASA) is receiving technical assistance from SNV, which includes developing a plan in which more than 50 percent of the 300 coffee bean producers benefiting from the investment will be women and young people.

Dr. Edgardo Alpízar, Sustainability Manager at EXPASA, says that the inclusion of women is being considered in the consultation process and the baseline survey. ‘The majority of women in the areas of intervention will be chosen to be part of the baseline, and they indicate what risks they see, any advantages and problems, and validate the proposals of how to mitigate or overcome them. There will be a lot of incorporation of knowledge and they also give ideas so we can reach an agreement in which everyone wins,’ added Alpizar.

With co-financing from FMO The Dutch Development Bank for the planned investment and own resources, EXPASA will provide small and medium-sized coffee producers with long-term credit under appropriate conditions to rehabilitate their farms with a climate-resilient model.

Dr Alpízar highlights that the provision of financial resources at competitive terms and rates will be among one of the greatest impacts for women. This ensures owners of the farms can increase the value of the land without losing income.

He also emphasised that women will have adequate management of resources, including the ability to access and purchase good quality inputs.

There are plans to promote local private initiatives and synergies for EXPASA to produce trees for Agro Forestry Systems (AFS), which are under the management of a local cooperative of specialised nurseries led by women. This ensures the provision of quality trees, generates closeness with producers, and promotes local trade based on the coffee production model under AFS.

Dr Alpízar pointed out that the proposal has an interesting approach to low production in agrochemicals, so that women do not have to store them in their homes and that all these are organic or manufactured on the farms.

'Training will be provided so that women improve their cultivation, develop their knowledge in commercial practices, and have diversified income, which will provide support during the non-harvest season,' Dr Alpizar added.

Biosolid in a basin, purified by using flowers
Urban Sanitation in Bangladesh - Component 3: Governance, regulations and enforcement

Women will have a guaranteed market

EXPASA has negotiated coffee sales contracts with Nespresso, which has requested a greater volume of coffee produced under this resilient and inclusive model. This creates stability in terms of contracts and prices for producers.

Dr Alpízar stressed that in economic terms, producers will receive prices above the stock market and all parties will continue to win in the long term. "The markets appreciate that coffee has a social impact in the area. Roasters want to know the traceability of coffee and that women who previously did not have access to the market now have it, which has a great impact.".

Dr Alpízar added that the project will also train women producers in measuring the growth of shade trees, as well as in the construction of traps for pests and bird watching, and receive a payment for that service.

The inclusive business approach throughout the value chain (productor, marketer and roaster) ensures the sustainability of the initiative, it should also be noted that coffee planted under AFS has a shelf life greater than 15 years.

The 300 producers with 1,500 hectares represent 10% of the coffee marketed by EXPASA in Nicaragua and the plans are to scale the initiative in all coffee supply areas.

From Technical Assistance to EXPASA

The Technical Assistance Plan provided by SNV includes three work packages: updating of the Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) of EXPASA and definition of the business model of the project, development of a projection model and financial evaluation of the project at the level of the company and producers, and the realización of a risk analysis leading to the preparation of a risk mitigation plan.

About the DFCD

The Dutch fund for climate and development is €160 million funded by The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to improve the resiliency of the most vulnerable landscape through climate change adaptation. The DFCD is managed by a pioneering consortium of Climate Fund Managers (CFM), Worldwide Fund for Nature Netherlands (WWF-NL) and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, led by the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, FMO. For more information, please visit: www.thedfcd.com