Small Coffee Farmer Business Training Panama
From Peace Corps Wiki
Info about the Small Coffee Farmer Business Training Panama
Maximize the Harvest: Business Practices for Small Farmers is a three part seminar designed to provide small scale farmers with the theoretical tools they need to make the conceptual leap from producing non value added national consumption coffee and personal consumption coffee to green specialty coffee producers and small scale roasters. Agriculture is the primary income generating activity for rural Panamanians. Most small farmers face poor access to markets, exploitative intermediaries, competitive disadvantage against large scale producers, a lack of basic understanding of market functions, and low levels of formal education. The goal of the agribusiness initiative within Peace Corps Panama’s Sustainable Agriculture project is to make farming profitable enough for farmers to keep their land, maintaining cultural practices and keeping social structures intact. Each of the three sessions will cover a different aspect of operating a successful agribusiness. The first seminar, Project Management and Leadership, will lay the foundation for success through topics in leadership, organization, group dynamics, and professional relations. The second seminar, Harvesting for profit, will focus on improved harvesting techniques, improved drying techniques, processing, roasting and grinding machine construction, in addition to promoter training. The third seminar, Basic Business for Farmers, will focus on accounting, finance, and marketing theory. The seminar will be conducted by a team of Volunteers, agricultural extension agents, and coffee industry representatives. Each session will combine theoretical instruction with practical application to better meet the needs of adult learners in a rural setting. 8 volunteers from across Panama will train alongside the producers in all 3 sessions, and will improve upon the seminar to conduct future training sessions in their respective communities. The main goal is to make a significant difference in the organizational ability of APATACH, in addition to a significant difference in the quality of the members’ coffee and their income.