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Panama Canal: Coffee Plant Development

Posted on 2018-06-20

The first coffee processing plant in Capira went into operation on Monday, as part of the Environmental Economic Incentives Program (PIEA) developed by the Panama Canal. The PIEA, established in 2009, is a multi-component program to address the need to care for wooded areas, improve intervened areas and protect the soils of the river basin to ensure the existence of water for human consumption and for operation of the waterway.

"Arriving today has been a long road, full of challenges, something common in the journey of large or small ventures, but also of many satisfactions and lessons learned," said the administrator of the Canal, Jorge L. Quijano, when referring to this initiative, which is part of the environmental projects of the aquatic route.

Within the framework of the PIEA's agroforestry component, the Canal works with coffee producers in the area to increase their cultivated areas and therefore the production of their farms. Thus, in 2013, the Association of Coffee Producers of the Sub-basins of the Ciri and Trinidad Rivers of the Panama Canal (ACACPA) was created, whose objective is to facilitate the commercialization of coffee. This is how, after five years, the ACACPA producers receive the processing equipment, a toaster, a grinder and a sealer for the packaged product. The internal infrastructure to place and operate the machinery has also been adapted.

The processing plant is the result of the joint effort of State institutions such as the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA), non-governmental organizations such as the Natura Foundation, financial and international cooperation organizations such as the MIF-IDB and the Latin American Development Bank- CAF , private companies such as Manzanillo International Terminal (Puerto de Manzanillo, in Colón) and Ricardo Pérez SA, and the labor force of fifty volunteers from the Panama Canal (artisans, masons, painters, cabinetmakers, engineers, welders and their dependents) , which contributed more than 1,300 hours of volunteer work, in record time.

The agroforestry modality has allowed the planting of more than one million saplings of improved robusta coffee in about 2,220 hectares of some 95 communities. The Canal Administrator emphasized that the certification of the plant, the sanitary registration certificate and the other requirements to see on the shelves "the so special CUENCAFE" are still pending, however, the efforts of the producers will allow conclude that stage successfully.


Source: AN Panama

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