The main attraction for establishing or renewing coffee plantations with quality planting material, or even better, with verified genetic purity, is to achieve two to three times higher yields and greater investment security: This is the case of the Central American Hybrid variety plants offered by the Popoyán nursery in Guatemala.
The Popoyán nursery established 15 years ago stands out as a differentiating value, thanks to its constant search for quality planting material. In 2021, with MOCCA´s support, it was awarded the WCR Verified verification of genetic purity and good agronomic practices in the reproduction of the Central American H1 variety.
MOCCA is a 7-year initiative funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through its Food for Progress Program, which seeks to improve agricultural productivity and expand trade in agricultural products. The MOCCA project is being executed by a consortium led by TechnoServe.
Within the framework of the MOCCA project, World Coffee Research, as the leader in coffee research, supported more than a dozen large nurseries in five countries, three of which are in Guatemala. It provides advice on practices, procedures and improvements to be implemented to achieve the WCR Verified standard. Some of these activities include:
- Internal assessments to define the nursery’s status in relation to the standard’s compliance criteria.
- An action plan according to the nursery’s status.
- Follow-up and internal evaluations to monitor compliance with the action plan.
- Training of the nursery team in the preparation and control of traceability records.
- Support and follow-up in the process of coordinating the final audit with NSF.
- Subsidy for DNA analysis to determine the genetic purity of the plants.
“Coffee growers who buy from us see that the plants enjoy very good features and perform very well in the field, just as we promised them at the time of sale. They are able to corroborate this when the plant is in the field, and evidence that with good management procedures, these better quality plants can produce two or three times more as compared to a plant that does not have high quality standards or genetic purity,” said Timoteo Sanchez, Coordinator of the Popoyán Nursery.
Sanchez assures that the verification of the H1 or Central American Hybrid variety by WCR has contributed to the improvement of their controls and records, allowing them to comply with the quality standards required for the audit process and audit preparation; as well as a subsidy for DNA analysis, which verifies the genetic purity of the plants offered.
Verification has earned them “referrals and new customers. This has translated into an increase in sales and income, which has improved the nursery’s profitability. “From 2021 to date, we have doubled our production from 200 thousand to 400 thousand plants, and we affirm that at least 75% of that growth is due to the advice we have received and the good reputation we have achieved among our customers, who recommend us to other producers thus increasing our customer portfolio,” assured the Popoyán Nursery Coordinator.
“We have invested in infrastructure with the higher earnings gained, building spacious areas to keep the plants after transplanting them russification area),” explained Sánchez.