44-year old Noe García Castro is originally from the El Refugio municipality of the Ahuachapán department located in the western part of El Salvador, a region that sustains its economy through the agricultural sector and is considered one of the areas with the highest local and international commercial influx because its proximity to border points.
Since his youth, Noé has worked with his family in the production of coffee plants, but it was until 2012 that he ventured to disassociate himself from the family business and start his own nursery.
“When I started, I already had a general understanding of how to run the coffee nursery business, but I knew I still had a lot to learn. The biggest challenges I faced were finding clients to market the plants I was producing and the lack of financing to update the nursery’s technology. ”
At the end of 2020, motivated by the desire to professionalize himself in the coffee nursery business, he joined the El Viverista de Oro program from the Maximizing Coffee and Cacao Opportunities in the Americas (MOCCA) project.
“The MOCCA trainings and the El Viverista de Oro program changed my business vision of the coffee nursery business. The use of records as a tool for decision-making has helped me to have control over expenses and income and to know each plant’s profits and cost of production. ”
Through the El Viverista de Oro program, Noé García has implemented control practices in the seed lots of his nursery that allow him to identify genetic factors or nutritional deficiencies that affect the quality of his plants, achieving a 90% germination and guaranteeing the quality of the seed with genetic traceability to his customers.
“Now I get a lower percentage of plant rejection due to defects or diseases when selling them. In previous years this percentage was 20% and in the last production cycle it was less than 5%. These quality control practices have allowed me to access better markets and become a Starbucks supplier to market the coffee plants that I produce in my nursery”, the nurseryman comments.
The El Viverista de Oro program is supported by World Coffee Research and focuses its efforts on providing coffee nurserymen with good practices for the profitable management of their nurseries, including knowledge on genetic quality and the varieties with the greatest demand in the market. In April of this year, in El Salvador more than 56 coffee plant growers completed the training modules.
“My income has improved a lot, now we can access a better quality of life with my wife and children, little by little we are growing with the coffee nursery business and generating more jobs in my community, my message to my fellow coffee nursery friends is that we never stop learning and updating ourselves so that we can be prepared and face challenges successfully. » Noe García