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Knowledge exchange: Representatives of the “Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia” visit our project region in Trifinio

Guatemala City, Guatemala, August 31st, 2015 – A meaningful exchange between experts took place in Trifinio during the week of July 27 - August 2, 2015. A group of extension workers from the “Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia” (FNC) visited the tri-border region between Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador to learn about the practices and successes of our initiative.

At the “Latin American Exchange Meeting” in Brazil in late May/early June, the FNC showed great interest in the practical methodology of c&c. “The climatic conditions here in Trifinio are very similar to what you find in Colombia,” said one of the extension workers from the district of Risaralda in the western central region of Colombia, “that is why we are so happy to have the opportunity to see the work that the coffee & climate initiative has done here.”

The weeklong trip addressed all relevant aspects of c&c; from presentations by local c&c coordinator Pablo Ruiz and the four extension workers from Colombia, over visits of small and large scale farmer organizations, over hands-on experiments, to tours of smallholder coffee farms, the trip gave the visitors an in-depth introduction of what experiences c&c has made so far. Out in the field, the incredible complexity behind adaptation to climate change becomes obvious. Impacts are experienced locally, which means adaptation responses also have to be defined on a site or regionally specific level.

The enthusiasm about the procedures of c&c by the FNC was tremendous. What was even more inspiring was the openness to exchange experiences, knowing the importance of communication between experts. At the end of a long day out in the field, Pablo (FNC) said, “The reason why projects like c&c exist is the same everywhere, be it in Trifinio or in Colombia. There are no borders or limits to what motivates us to do what we do. That is why this type of exchange of information is fundamental to ensure we keep making progress.” And indeed, members of c&c in Trifinio, Brazil, the FNC and Procafé are working on establishing a platform to keep up the conversation initiated on this trip. It is exactly this kind of willingness to collaborate that is needed to continuously strengthen smallholder coffee production in a sustainable manner.

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