Representatives of coffee mills participated in the business conference "Promoting Low-Carbon, Energy-Efficient and Environmentally Sustainable Coffee" organized on behalf of ICAFE, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and German Development Cooperation GIZ.
The event offered a space for the exhibition of technologies for coffee processing as well as already existing financing alternatives within the country, with the purpose of encouraging investments in sustainable and low-carbon technologies.
National and international technology providers highlighted the benefits equipment such as centriflux, materials for the construction of energy-efficient ovens, composting machines, among others. Likewise, more than five intermediary financial institutions that channel CABEI funds were present, presenting credit alternatives for investments in low-carbon technology.
"The coffee sector has a high potential for reducing emissions, but many producers lack capital to make the necessary investments. The Costa Rican Coffee NAMA and its NAMA Support Project (NSP Café) not only offer technological advice for low-carbon coffee production, but also offer financial support to those who need it”, explains Carlos Fonseca, Technical Manager of the National Coffee Institute. One of these mechanisms is the NAMA Café Financing Program, which was launched in August 2018 with a total volume of US $ 8.2 million on behalf of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and an additional contribution of EUR 2 million on behalf of the NAMA Facility, to encourage the application of favorable conditions, particularly a low interest rate for a term maximum of 10 years.
"For CABEI, it is very important to support the coffee sector with the opportunities this credit line offers, especially for small and medium producers. Likewise, CABEI promotes the adoption of environmentally friendly measures and policies in Central America, aware that their long-term implementation will result in a better standard of living for the Central American population. Using the actions in Costa Rica as examples and inspiration, we are expanding our efforts so that short-term financing programs for a sustainable coffee production can be established throughout the region”, explained Mauricio Chacon, CABEI Country Manager for Costa Rica.
To apply for a loan within the NAMA Café Financing Program, interested parties must provide details about the planned investment and the expected reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water or electricity consumption. These will be verified by the ICAFE, which can adivse on the formulation of the reduction plan based on the updated GHG inventories. Afterwards, the interested parties may contact the financial institution they trust to request the loan.
Additionally, CABEI and ICAFE signed a non-reimbursable technical cooperation agreement for US$60,000 to expand the digital application CRCAFÉ 1.0 to its version 2.0. In addition to the current options of keeping a record of the spread of diseases such as coffee rust, the dosage of agrochemicals, the application of fertilizers and the amount of shade trees in the coffee plantation, among others, new agronomic modules will facilitate the interaction between ICAFE and coffee producers. The modules added in the CRCAFE 2.0 will help coffee producers estimate their harvest using the methodology validated by ICAFE and will speed up the preparation of GHG emission inventories for benefits and facilitate the traceability of coffee, optimizing the work of ICAFE.