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What do they do?
ASCAFE creates far-reaching social improvements including: reducing gender-based violence, preventing illegal crop production, preserving soil health, promoting environmental conservation, protecting children from militias that operate in the area and facilitating more efficient allocation of family resources.Women’s Coffee Project focuses on female economic empowerment through coffee production to increase the livelihoods and opportunities of everyone in the family and community at large.
What is their social impact?
ASCAFE seeks to reduce gender-based violence, prevent illegal crop production, preserve soil health and promote environmental conservation, protect children from militias that operate in the area, and facilitate more efficient allocation of family resources.Farms in southern Colombia are small, typically under 1 hectare. According to ASCAFE’s research, it is difficult-to-impossible for producers to support their family on the income from coffee production alone. Additionally, economic needs and the presence of armed-drug cartels operating in the region pressure farmers to transition to illicit crops that can put them on the wrong side of the law and also in physical danger from actors in the drug trade.
How they are making a difference?
In response, ASCAFE has developed a crop-diversification model that increases household income and sustainability. Families plant avocado trees (shade, income & food), timber trees (a long term investment for retirement) and an orchard (to provide food for the family throughout the year). ASCAFE builds upon their social goals with their focus on the “ Family Agriculture Economy” that involves all family members in labor and decision making on the farm. As part of their “certification” process for members, ASCAFE agronomists perform soil analysis on farms and create an individualized nutrition plan. Their partnership with Yara, a fertilizer company, helps farmers access inputs, optimize usage and also provides some members with trainings on plant nutrition.