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El Salvador: $ 45 million approved for the coffee sector

Posted by Discover El Salvador | 04 June 2021 |

One of the initiatives that MAG plans to carry out, with the IDB loan, is the recovery of 33% of the coffee forest in El Salvador.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) announced that it will renovate the coffee park and that it will build an institute dedicated to coffee research with the approval of the $ 45 million loan, which has been granted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The loan was approved in 2019 by the IDB Board of Directors for the Project on Innovation, Research and Diffusion of Agricultural Technologies for Resilience to Climate Change in the Coffee Forests of El Salvador. David Martínez, Minister of Agriculture, assured that more than 7,000 coffee producers will benefit from the loan approved by the Legislative Assembly last Tuesday.

"$ 25.5 million will be invested to renovate the coffee parks with varieties resistant to climate change, without losing the quality of the cup, which will benefit about 8,000 coffee producers from the Apaneca, Ilamatepec, El Bálsamo and Chinchontepec regions", detailed. The agricultural portfolio plans to renew 33% of the coffee forest. According to the MAG, 44% of the national forest is made up of the coffee park, which represents about 80% of the agroforestry systems of high biomass and diversity. He estimates that between 2000 and 2016, its extension has been reduced by 22,000 hectares, from 162,000 to 140,000 hectares. The project's diagnosis highlights that "coffee forests provide vital ecosystem services, such as water regulation and aquifer recharge, erosion and sedimentation control, and carbon sequestration." "The loss of coffee forests can affect the country's biodiversity since these are habitats for a diversity of species such as birds, insects, and fungi," he points out. According to the official, $ 10 million will be used for the creation of a new Salvadoran Coffee Institute and $ 6 million for "the commercial linkage of Salvadoran coffee." "We will look for markets for our grain of gold to sell at a higher price," he said.

Martínez clarified that the $ 45 million is not part of the $ 637.5 million trust contemplated in the Agricultural Rescue Master Plan, announced by the Executive in January. "This is an assistance program (...) it is not a loan, it is not like the trust that is a program where we are going to give loans with a preferential rate to the producer, this is assistance that we are going to give with all the inputs they need to be able to improve their performance and direct link with the market, "said the minister. Omar Flores, president of the El Salvador Coffee Association (ACAFESAL) referred to the commercial part as one of the important factors required by the sector to achieve better prices. "We have been insisting that markets should be sought outside the Stock Market to have prices according to the quality of the coffee we produce. It seems very important to me that these $ 6 million are dedicated to trying to see how we are looking for other markets and better prices. ", he expressed. The project proposes the adoption of technologies or practices that allow adaptation to climate change through financial support, associativity, focused on producers who need to carry out a transformative adaptation to new crops, in addition to financing related activities such as information services, innovation, adaptive research, and agricultural extension.

History of Coffee in El Salvador

Posted by Discover El Salvador | 15 de Mayo 2021 |

Coffee has been one of the most important products of El Salvador

History of coffee cultivation in El Salvador Coffee arrived in this country between 1800 and 1815. It began to be cultivated in the highlands of the Salvadoran mountain systems, under the shade of natural forest trees, as in its place of origin (Ethiopia The main boom in the country's coffee-talera agroindustry occurs 70 years after the beginning of coffee cultivation, when it replaced indigo as the main export product. At that time, coffee was already grown regularly in the area. western part of the country, since this area had the best agro-ecological facilities for its development, as well as having enough human settlements to cover the needs of labor. In 1940, coffee already represented 90% of the total value of the exports of the country. country

El Salvador is a country with 100% Arabian coffee. About 68% of the territory dedicated to coffee production is planted with coffee trees of the Bourbon variety, 29% with Pacas

Between 1950 and 1970, Salvadoran coffee growing was the protagonist of a technological modernization, new varieties were introduced, such as bourbon, and the Institute for Coffee Research was created. These factors, together with two decades of political stability, made the country one of the most productive in the world, enjoying a respectful image for its quality. The coffee from El Salvador, together with Guatemala and Honduras, was the guideline to establish the qualities of other Suaves, on an international scale. These three countries were then known as the “Three Coffee Riders of Central America

For more than a decade (1981-1992), El Salvador experienced a bloody civil war that slowed down much of the country's development. After the 1992 peace agreement, an important reconstruction process began, which served to redesign the nation and structure its internal politics. In this period, its coffee industry suffered a significant stagnation. Once this stage has been overcome, today, coffee is once again profiled as an economic value of the first magnitude, by being renewed, within a strategy that seeks to recover and obtain the highest possible quality in the cup, taking advantage of the excellence of the land and of its people to produce good coffee. And just as important as its organoleptic quality is the quality of its coffee forest and its new social nature, which makes it a crop of incalculable ecological value.

El Salvador coffee has positioned itself in the gourmet coffee segment of the international market. The effort made by entities such as the Salvadoran Coffee Council or organizations such as the Fundación Salvadoreña para Investigaciones del Café -Procafé-, in addition to the success of programs such as the one started in 2000 to renovate the aging Salvadoran coffee park and improve The competitive conditions of the country's coffee grower have favored the promotion of this bean in the most exclusive markets where, above all, the fineness and excellent flavor of this coffee is appreciated. Its gourmet positioning, however, does not It has been enough and despite the small territory of El Salvador has allowed, since the beginning of coffee cultivation in the country, to have a single microclimate and a very advantageous proximity between the farm and the mill, the political and economic conditions of the country they have not always favored the cultivation of coffee and even less the promotion of its quality.

Art in El Salvador

Posted by Discover El Salvador | 02 January 2021 |

Art of El Salvador

El Salvador has gone through several historical periods and several cultural transformations through time. The first “artistic” expression in the territory is a cave on the east of El Salvador, where bands of hunters-gatherers painted several drawings of animals and people around 10,000 BC. This type of expression is called rock art.

El Salvador has a unique artistic style

The first sedentary societies in the territory that learned to grow corn, beans, squash and other plants became bigger in number and soon the production of utensils became a necessity to eat, cook or store food. On this period, we can say that artistic expressions were almost exclusively used to decorate temples, carve and paint religious characters or gods.

With the migrations of big cultural groups like the Olmecs, Mayas and Mexicas, art is still very close to religion but it’s also used to express or preserve everyday life moments, but also used to maintain political power. The Maya Rulers would order the building of bigger statues and monuments, to impress the locals and the foreigners. The scribes and artisans acquired a higher status in the social division structure.

With the arrival of the Europeans in the XV century, the European cultural standards were imposed violently over the local culture. The local art was relegated to secrecy to avoid being destroyed by the Catholic priests. Many of the ancient expressions were lost forever and many other were transformed into a European version. This events led to a discrimination of the Salvadoran society towards the local native artistic expressions, as this were considered old, pagan, ugly, etc.

During the last century, interest for the native colors has returned and a search of the Salvadoran Identity by the Salvadorans paved the way to artists like Fernando Llort, who without knowing, created the current Salvadoran artistic style, La Palma style.