Farmers from Oro Verde cooperative develop agroforestry systems by planting trees within their coffee plots to improve the production yields and coffee quality, whilst reducing agricultural pressures on the forest.
During the 80’s, Peru experienced a strong increase in illicit coca cultivation and many Amazonian regions were ruled by drug traffic. Lamas region was severely affected by this phenomenon. The Oro Verde cooperative was created in this context. A few farmers gathered to develop alternative cultures and add value their greatest asset: coffee.
The Oro Verde cooperative now gathers approximately 1,000 families of small-scale coffee farmers from the Lamas region of Peru. Some of the farmers are Quechua native Indians, who are proud to perpetuate their traditions through craft works and family farming practices.
Half of the Lamas territory is still covered with primary rainforest. In order to preserve these forests and reduce the pressure on natural areas, the Oro Verde cooperative works to increase the production yields of coffee by training farmers on efficient agricultural techniques such as agroforestry. In 2009, the Oro Verde farmers supported by PUR Projet started a reforestation project on degraded and unused lands where they plant trees following forestry models, and also on cultivated plots where they develop agroforestry practices, in combination with coffee crops. These plantations both add value to agricultural lands and enable to preserve the environment.
In 2012, the reforestation project has given rise to a new project in the cooperative, which is a beekeeping program. 15 hives have been set up and are run by 15 farmers of the cooperative.
“This project is important because honey bees will pollinate fruit trees and crops in the region. It is also very complementary to the reforestation project as the planted trees are of great diversity, which is very useful to bees.
This apiculture program is also important for farmers because it will allow them to diversify and spread their revenues over the year. Once the coffee production is completed, they can dedicate themselves to producing and selling honey.”
Teofilo Beingolea, agricultural engineer at Oro Verde cooperative
LocationSan Martin region, Amazonia, Peru
Agroforestry and reforestation
Local partnerOro Verde cooperative
Participants900 farmers of fair trade and organic coffee
Achievements878,054 trees planted