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TaiwanICDF and CABEI Assist Central American Countries to Combat Coffee Rust Disease

TaiwanICDF and CABEI Assist Central American Countries to Combat Coffee Rust Disease

Coffee is among the top export crops in Central American Countries (CACs). In addition to its important contribution to the countries’ gross domestic product, the activities of coffee bean production provide employment and revenue for a large part of the population. To relieve the social and economic impacts brought by the coffee rust disease, the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) signed a loan agreement for the Regional Program for Coffee Rust in Central America (Program) on December 21, 2015. This Program aims to recover the production level of small-scale coffee producers and increase household income in the Central American region.

Reasons for the increase in rust outbreaks include the use of low-input field management practices and climate change, which has raised the level of rainfall, humidity and temperature. This surge in breakouts has affected not only employment and economic stability in the region, but also the people whose livelihoods depend on coffee production, particularly small-scale farmers who have limited capacity to cope with such risk and losses.

To address this issue, the TaiwanICDF and CABEI therefore cooperated on this Program, targeted at small-scale producers, to ensure the stability of the coffee supply chain in our partner countries in Central America. The Program consists of two major components: agricultural loans (Loan) and technical assistance (TA), with the TaiwanICDF and CABEI each committing to contribute US$40 million to the Loan component. CABEI will distribute the funding by way of re-lending, in which CABEI’s Founding Member Countries may request a loan from CABEI and subsequently re-lend it to beneficiaries through intermediary financial institutions. With these financial resources, beneficiaries can renew their plantations, stump or prune coffee trees and conduct routine field management. Regarding the TA component, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China and CABEI will grant US$3.5 million and US$2.5 million, respectively, to implement the projects, thereby assisting the countries who receive CABEI’s loans to enhance the coffee industry’s capacity in phytosanitary and field management.

Drawing on Taiwan’s advantages in the agricultural sector and in alignment with international development agencies’ emphasis on the agriculture value chain, the TaiwanICDF has focused on working with international and regional organizations that advise local governments or financial institutions on capacity building. In planning this Program, the TaiwanICDF initially cooperated with the International Regional Organization for Plant and Animal Health (OIRSA) to agree on providing assistance to the farmers of CACs to combat and mitigate the impacts of the coffee rust fungus, and to conduct the 1st International Mega-Convention on the Phytosanitary Management of Coffee to understand the challenges faced by the coffee industry in the region. Following the discussions in the Convention and findings during the TaiwanICDF’s meeting with stakeholders, the Program was gradually structured and modified to respond to local needs.

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  • Date:2016/1/12