One of the most exciting developments in Deusa is the growth in coffee production on the lower slopes of the valley. Right now our volunteer, Meleah Moore, is in Deusa with our partners EcoHimal Nepal. There is a lot of activity going on there this week, farmers are getting specialist training on running cooperatives and learning some advanced skills to help them produce coffee more efficiently. The coffee training is practical, they need coffee beans, so it has been timed to coincide with the coffee harvest. Meleah is capturing this and posting updates on our Instagram account.
Coffee is grown in the shade of other trees like Banana and Moringa, a process called intercropping that farmers are learning in Deusa and Waku thanks to our Agro Forestry education programmes there. The trees help each other, farmers are working with nature, rather than creating boring mono-culture farms that are not sustainable long term. The Banana tree provides vital shade for the coffee plants, but also, thanks to their roots help keep water in the soil. The roots of the coffee help bind the soil and their fallen, rotting leaves provide it with nutrients to keep the soil fertile.
The banana's are also of course delicious and nutritious, the coffee is unbelievable! Through the Deusa AFRC and our partners EcoHimal Nepal, the farmers are able to sell their coffee to traders in Kathmandu. This is providing a great new source of income. The Glacier Trust is currently exploring ways to roast, bag and sell coffee grown in Deusa ourselves. We'll buy it from the farmers, process it, sell it and then reinvest the profits into more Climate Change Adaptation projects. Please get in touch if you'd like to find out more.