Italy allocates $5 million to strengthen the country’s coffee sector

The Government of Italy, in alliance with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), the Salvadoran Coffee Council, unions and cooperatives, yesterday announced an investment of more than $5 million for the Alotepec-Metapán and Cacahuatique coffee mountain ranges.

The financing is part of the project to increase the added value and appreciation of coffee in El Salvador (Vivicafé), which for two years will directly impact 1,100 producers and more than 4,000 people indirectly linked to the coffee activity in these areas.

«This Vivicafé project aims to improve the conditions of small coffee producers and increase sustainability, while also improving the quality of coffee,» said the Italian ambassador to El Salvador, Edoardo Pucci.

Likewise, he indicated that the financing is given, in part, by the efforts of the Salvadoran government authorities to rescue coffee growing in the country. «Since my arrival in El Salvador, I have seen how the Salvadoran Coffee Council and the Ministry of Agriculture work shoulder to shoulder with the coffee growers. In addition to enriching my cultivation culture, they have also shown me their professionalism and humanity,» said Pucci.

For his part, the Minister of Agriculture, Enrique Parada, assured that the coffee sector is a priority for the current government administration due to its economic and environmental importance. In addition, he thanked the European country for its cooperation.

«I want to thank the Italian Cooperation for its solidarity with our coffee growers. We know that each of the actions within the project will be able to solve each problem that has arisen, for the benefit of all », he highlighted.

On the other hand, the Minister of Agriculture announced the launch of an initiative that will benefit 40 coffee cooperatives and associations from the different mountain ranges of the central and western zones of the country with an investment of $1.6 million financed by the Inter-American Bank of Development (IDB).

«We have made agreements with 40 organizations for an amount of $1.6 million, all this for a sector that generates 50,000 jobs for the country and gives a great boost to national exports,» said Parada.

According to official information, the investment will be made through the Climate Resilience Program for Coffee Forests, which has a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for an amount of $1,589,400 through three main lines of action.

The total investment will benefit seven cooperatives and eight entrepreneurial groups from the Alotepec Metapán mountain range; four cooperatives and eight entrepreneurial groups from the Bálsamo-Quezaltepec mountain range; five cooperatives and six entrepreneurial groups from the Apaneca-Ilamatepec mountain range; and a cooperative and a group of entrepreneurs from the Chichontepec mountain range.

More than 1,300 small coffee-producing families will benefit from the Alotepec-Metapán coffee mountain range alone, the MAG highlighted.

According to official information, a harvest of close to one million quintals of coffee is expected in the country, equivalent to an increase of 15% compared to the 2021 harvest.