Roya Recovery Projects
Asocacion Chajulense (AC), has over 25 years' experience promoting development in the Ixil area, through the production, processing and marketing of organic, Fairtrade coffee. However, with the onset of the devastating fungus, la roya (rust), coffee production in the Ixil region has been significantly reduced by over 75%. In addition to devastating AC’s ability to fulfill its coffee contracts, this has unleashed a community-wide crisis on the Ixil people who already suffer on a regular basis from food shortages after the coffee harvest. Families are facing difficult decisions that include abandoning their farms for labour in large, private farms or factory work in the cities where crime is rampant, or worse, the dreaded choice of leaving their families and their famrs to risk their lives to cross the border into the United States. The project employs the use of Effective Micro-organisms to stop rust, while promoting the replenishment of depleted soil with organic compost, cover cropping for nitrogen fixing, pruning and widespread experimentation with grafting and other techniques. Most importantly of all, the project utilises the principle of Campesino a Campesino, the peer-to-peer learning principles where farmers learn laterally from each other as opposed to more traditional top down training methods.