The project focuses on three areas that are prime coffee producing areas within the country as well as key water sources for 1000s of people.
1. Apaneca Range
The Apaneca-Ilamatepec corridor is a mountain range in the west of El Salvador where the country's most renowned coffee is grown. The corridor is located in the departments of Ahuachapán, Sonsonate and the southern zone of Santa Ana, and includes 32 municipalities with 18,476 coffee farms in 68,804 hectares.
Blue Harvest is currently focused in the department of Ahuachapán, specifically on the southern slope of the mountain range, intervening in the municipalities of San Francisco Menendez, Jujutla, Guaymango and San Pedro Puxtla (which make up the municipalities of the Ahuachapán Micro-region); plus, Concepción de Ataco and part of Apaneca. Recently, new collaborations have been initiated with coffee growers in the central and northern part of the mountain range, always in the department of Ahuachapán.
2. Bálsamo Range
The Bálsamo Range is a coffee zone with 7,003 farms in 37,066 hectares of coffee (data includes of Quezaltepeque). The range provides water to all the population of its southern slope, including all the coastal tourist centers. It also has a strategic role in its northern slope, providing water for the populations, industries and intensive crops of the Zapotitlan valley (also known as San Andrés), one of the most productive areas of the country.
Blue Harvest is intervening in the municipalities of Comasagua, Jayaque and Talnique. And it has a collaboration agreement with the Balsamo Microregion, which includes these three municipalities.
3. Cacahuatique Range and North Morazán
This area is of strategic importance, as they are the suppliers of water for the population and economic activities of the eastern part of the country, known for its dry corridor or water scarcity. Forest cover and coffee plantations are key to ensuring water resource protection. The coffee zone consists of 1,734 farms in 5,413 hectares.
Cacahuatique Range provides water to the populations of 20 municipalities around the range, with more than 160,000 people. Blue Harvest is involved in the municipalities of Ciudad Barrios, San Simón, Gualococti, Oscicala, Delicias de Concepción, Arambala and Perquín.
This area has historically been dominated by coffee. However, agricultural practices have recently resorted to basic grains and livestock. Uplands are water recharge areas for downstream communities.
The average yield in this area is below 7 quintals per hectare. The region needs support to foster collaboration between the public and private sector to improve agricultural practices that protect water sources for communities in the area.
Although these high watersheds have produced coffee for decades, there has recently been low productivity and investment in agricultural management is low. In the mid-altitude areas of the watersheds, land use has been changing because of coffee rust and conversion to other land uses. These situations have led to increased deforestation and fires.
Blue Harvest Stakeholders:
In El Salvador, Blue Harvest is coordinated by the following NGOs:
• Caritas Santa Ana, in Apaneca Range
• FUNDESYRAM, in El Balsamo Range
• ACUGOLFO, in Cacahuatique Range and North Morazán
• CRS, throughout the country
Support from the following public institutions:
• Consejo Salvadoreño del Café
• Municipalities: San Francisco Menéndez, Jujutla, San Pedro Puxtla, Concepción de Ataco, Comasagua, Talnique, Jayaque, Ciudad Barrios, San Simón, Gualococti and Oscicala.
• Microrregión Ahuachapán Sur, la Microrregión de El Bálsamo, y la Microrregión MANORSAM (municipal microregions)
• RGC Coffee
Blue Harvest Farmers:
• Cooperativa Los COASULOES (Ahuachapán)
• Cooperativa ACACPAS (San Pedro Puxtla)
• Cooperativa Las Cruces (Ataco)
• Cooperativa San Antonio (Comasagua)
• Cooperativa San Carlos 2 (Oscicala)
• Asociación ACPROAGRO (San Simón)
• Asociación ACDR (Arambala)
• Asociación Pueblo Viejo (Perquín)
• Independent farmers
As of December 2016, more that 500 coffee farmers have participated in Blue Harvest.
Browse El Salvador intervention zones, farms, and water sources below.