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Prosperity for Genaro that doesn’t cost the earth

By Practical Action On 19.08.2019 FarmingBlog

Planet-friendly farming techniques are helping Genaro’s family thrive on their coffee farm in Peru. And they’re protecting the environment for future generations.

Santa Fe is an agricultural area of Peru, 40 minutes from the city of Jaén. Most people who live here are coffee farmers. Genaro Alarcón Pérez moved to Santa Fe 63 years ago to start up his own coffee farm.

In the past, Genaro struggled to keep his farm profitable enough to be able to support his family. He’s also experienced first-hand the devastating impact of deforestation on the local environment. Genaro was ambitious to improve his own business while protecting the planet. A collaboration with Practical Action helped him do just that.

Through Practical Action training, Genaro has learned agroecology techniques such as layering and soil enrichment. As well as reducing the amount of carbon his farm produces, it’s also improved his coffee crop.

“My greatest pride is the quality of my product. Thanks to the technical training program provided by Practical Action, I’m making a bigger profit. Almost all my coffee has been of good quality and I have had good returns even in difficult times.”

The training has also helped Genaro diversify into different areas of farming. Large-scale reforestation means that forestry is now a viable business option. And it’s making protecting and replanting trees an important part of daily life in Santa Fe.

“We have planted forests and now we are able to harvest the wood and sell it. With this project, farmers in this area have become almost like a family. We’re working together towards a shared goal.”

Genaro is now respected in Sante Fe as a veteran farmer, keen to pass on his skills and knowledge to younger entrepreneurs. His seven children have all left home to set up coffee farms of their own. He and his wife are now able to enjoy the prosperity of their farm and the beautiful local environment they have helped protect.

This project is just one of the ways we’re working to make farming more profitable for struggling smallholder farmers, so they can adapt to climate change and achieve a good standard of living.

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