The project will focus on two adjacent municipalities of San Ramon and Tuma La Dalia in the department of Matagalpa.
Keurig purchases coffee from cooperatives in San Ramon. San Ramon has over 13,000 hectares cultivated with coffee, and produced 175,000 quintales of coffee in the 2012.
CRS worked in San Ramon throug the Global Water Initiative funded by HGBF building water systems and initiating watershed management analyses and plans jointly with the municipal government. Another CRS project, CAFÉ Livelihoods, supported about 330 farmers in the area through the cooperatives CECOCAFEN and CECOSEMAC. CRS is currently implementing a large USDA-funded agriculture program called PROGRESA, which focuses on agricultural value chains. CRS is also implementing a Passion Fruit Value Chain Project in San Ramon.
The micro-watersheds of San Rafael and La Pita in the far-western part of San Ramon provide the bulk of water to the 12,500 living in the town of San Ramon and surrounding communities.
Environmental degradation is severe, as a result primarily of poor agricultural practices and high volumes of coffee processes during the harvest season.
Principal threats to water resources in San Ramon include:
- Water flows (volume) have reduced in recent years in summer months, with surface flows disappearing in the driest months of the year (March and April) in some streams.
- High rates of soil erosion leading to sedimentation in streams and rivers, landslides, and downstream flooding.
- An important cause of erosion and landslides is rural roads poorly built in the highlands, including tertiary access roads (trails) in coffee farms.
- High contamination of agricultural chemicals (including fertilizer and pesticides) from the production of coffee, basic grains, and horticultural products
- High seasonal contamination from wastewater from coffee mills.
- Streams are contaminated by human waste as less than 50% of the population in the rural areas has proper sanitation.
2. Tuma La Dalia
Tuma La Dalia is located in the department of Matagalpa, directly north of San Ramon. This is a major coffee producing area with nearly 1800 farmers producing 300,000 to 400,000 quintales per year – accounting for nearly 25% of Nicaragua’s national production. GMCR sources coffee from Tuma La Dalia.
In 2009 to 2011, CRS worked through a project called CAFÉ Livelihoods supporting about 540 farmers in the area through the cooperatives CECOCAFEN and CECOSEMAC. CRS also implemented a large USDA-funded agriculture program called PROGRESA, which focuses on agricultural value chains.
The municipal boundary of Tuma La Dalia coincides with the watershed boundary of the Tuma River, which is a tributary to the Rio Grande. Blue Harvest work is focused on microwatersheds within the municipality- Las Aguas and Yayule
Environmental degradation is severe in Tuma La Dalia, similar to San Ramon. The causes of degradation are similar to those of San Ramon.
See map below to get to know Blue Harvest Nicaragua intervention zones, farms, and water sources.