Coffee Farming? There's an App For That

March 28, 2011

There seems to be an App for everything these days. Now coffee farmers in remote parts of Mexico, Peru and Tanzania are enjoying a variety of video lessons on their co-op’s iPads that will help them in planting and managing sustainable coffee farms. An educational App developer and Sustainable Harvest, a coffee importer specializing in sustainable coffee, have combined forces to produce these videos. Available in English, Spanish and Swahili, the App includes training videos in best agricultural practices, farm diversification and food security. Eventually the developers hope to include health-related content and social media features so that farmers are able to network with other farmers anywhere. The other goals are to improve quality of life in addition to improving coffee quality. Sustainable Harvest has done more than this to educate their farmers. They have helped to bring shade plants back to the farms to improve the bean quality, brought in water and have thus increased the value of Tanzanian coffee in particular. Besides the iPads, they have brought computers to the farms and the necessary training they entail. This is an example of how today’s hi-tech is reaching into all corners of the globe, even these very remote areas. The main impetus was to provide farmers with income while supplying coffee lovers with their much desired beans, but it won’t stop there. The subjects of the videos are starting with coffee, but the future health-related content and the contact with the outside world will impact the farmers’ lives even more. The farmers’ lives are already seeing improvement, as their bean yields increase and with it their incomes.



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