With two weeks to go we are strongly focused on our final deliverables and this week we started with another trip back to Nueva Segovia in the north to meet with our producers and review the financial projections for their nurseries. I am pleased with the outcome of our work as we now have finalized the detailed costs of production of the plants and operating of a nursery, and set the prices the certified coffee plants should be sold for.

We also got an opportunity to purchase some amazing coffee directly from the cooperative in the mountainous municipality of Dipilto (which is recognized for the quality of its coffee). I now have 4 kg of Nicaraguan coffee that I will be bringing back with me therefore I can assure my colleagues in the London office that we will do coffee tasting!

For the rest of week we concentrated on our specialty coffee project. We completed our general overview of the industry with corresponding statistics and we went through the cost-benefit analysis of the interventions. We also shifted our attention from dry to wet mill processing and what we are going to recommend is the implementation of central wet mill stations. Majority of farmers in Nicaragua wash coffee on their own farms and coffee quality is often lost in this process. There is a business case for more efficient central mills which would improve quality and result in price premiums to the farmers.

We worked from our hotel for three days due to public holidays when Nicaraguans celebrate Central America’s declaration of independence in 1821. One of those days Ryan, TechnoServe’s director took us for a day trip to Masaya region which has beautiful landscapes and is most famous for its active volcano. Apparently, Masaya’s volcano is one of three volcanoes in the world that has a surface lava lake and seeing and hearing the glowing lava flowing inside the volcano was an incredible experience indeed.

The Volunteer

Marzena Loos

Senior Associate, Shareholder Services & Funds Administration

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