With two days left in 2015, the green coffee stands in second place among the top 10 export products of Nicaragua.
Coffee has generated US $ 393 million this calendar year and only lags behind beef (US $ 450.77 million), according to the daily statistics from the Center for Export Procedures (CETREX).
Last year, on the same date, the rojito had the same value generated US $ 393 million, according to the CETREX.
So the golden grain remains an important category for the Nicaraguan economy.
Coffee growing, according to official sources, generates direct and indirect work to between 280,000 and 300,000 people. That represents 53% of the jobs created in the agricultural sector of Nicaragua and 14% of total employment in the country.
Despite the importance of coffee production in Nicaragua, Julio Solorzano and Felix Caceres, authors of the study “Program Improvement of Coffee Production for Small and Medium Producers” of the Nicaraguan Foundation for Economic and Social Development (Funides), the yield of the crop “has not changed significantly in the last forty years.”
The grain yield has varied in that period of time between 6 and 12 bushels per acre, according to the authors of the study, published in 2012.
In the 2010-2011 coffee harvest of coffee the average yield was 10.3 quintals per manzana (1.78 acres) and preliminary data indicate that the 2014-2015 crop yield gathered 11.8 quintals. However María Auxiliadora Briones, general manager of the Foundation for Technology, Agriculture and Forestry of Nicaragua Development (Funica), argues that other countries in the region are producing an average of 23 bushels per acre.
From the plant to the cup
- Arabica: is the most common in the world and it tastes better. It requires higher and cooler areas.
- Robusta coffee: It is more resistant to disease and is mainly used to make instant coffee or mixtures with other coffees.
In Nicaragua, mainly arabica coffee is produced. The area bounded by the Government for robusta coffee planting area includes the municipalities of El Coral and El Almendro, the municipalities of the Autonomous Region of the Southern Caribbean (RAAS) and the Autonomous Region of the Northern Caribbean (RAAN), except for Waslala and protected areas in both regions.
Each coffee cherry contains two seeds or grains that are washed, dried, roasted, ground and filtered to produce the drink.
In Nicaragua, the traditional benefits constitute 37% of domestic profits. Corporate profits work in partnership with independent owners or as part of the same organization exporter, part of the group benefactor-exporter-marketer procedure. They constitute 47% of domestic profits.Independent benefits represent 16% of domestic profits.These are companies that collect and sell the green beans to a particular marketer. Some of these benefits have their own agents or “brokers” in international markets, those doing the work of marketing and establishing contracts. Dry processing of cooperatives. Agricultural cooperatives involve phase benefited and marketing of coffee.
Coffee is a shrub native to East Africa. It is a kind of permanent cultivation. They planted 4,000 to 5,000 plants per acre. Their life expectancy is about 25 years.
3. Grain Collection
The grain harvest is done manually in Nicaragua. Nicaraguan coffee production has little chance of mechanization due to the characteristics of the coffee areas, which are steep.
The collector enters the grove and selects mature coffee beans, cuts them and deposits them in a basket or plastic container.
The grain’s harvest time depends on several factors, including the skill of the worker, the ripening of the fruit, tree height, the slope, rain, fatigue level of the collector, among others.
Once the operator has filled his or her basket, they deposit the product in sacks. They then weigh the beans and prepare for the milling process.
4. Coffee Processing
There are two types of beneficiaries: wet and dry.
Wet processing is done on farms. It is consisting of pulping, fermentation and washing the grain.
Dry Processing consists of drying the grain, remove the parchment and select the grain, called green coffee, as quality and destination of export or domestic consumption.
Producers today are often linked to export companies, producer organizations and cooperatives to sell their product, according to the benefits you get from those buyers or intermediaries. His connection also depends on its geographical location and access to collection centers.
Some dry benefited also offer management services to export the coffee produced by their customers. The decision to hire the services of a dry processing, by the producer, depending on the services they offer with respect to maintaining product quality and processing price per quintal.
Currently there are distinct markets for the different types of coffee produced in different areas of the country as well as international demand for environmental services as capturing carbon dioxide and water, releasing oxygen. Many organic or through fair trade coffees are also sold. Producers can also sell online and electronic auctions.
As anyone who has visited us at El Porton Verde know, we love our coffee and enjoy buying the green beans and roasting them over a wood fire here, then taking them to our local mill to be ground. A couple of take-aways from this article. Coffee production has not increased in a number of years and neighboring countries have a much higher production per acre than in Nicaragua. So it would appear that there is room for improvement!
Cheers and have a nice cuppa!