NAMA Café » Project IDB-MIF

Project "Strengthening competitiveness and low-carbon performance in the Costa Rican coffee sector”

The BID-FOMIN project aims to reduce environmental damage caused in coffee production and to increase efficiency of small coffee farmers and coffee mills. This is planned to be achieved through the adoption of technologies and good agricultural practices that promote the sustainable use of natural resources and in turn allow a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions without losing profitability in production. With a funding of US$ 2,240,088, the BID-FOMIN project aims to sensitize 3000 small producers, train 800 producers, elaborate five technologies and have three coffee mills participating in pilot projects, all in the period from 2014 to 2017. Among the partners and actors involved is the Mesa NAMA Café as a working group. The implementing agency is Fundecooperación para el Desarrollo Sostenible.

Project components:

To achieve the desired objectives, this project has five components which define the actions to follow:

Graphic Components Project IDB-MIF


Several pilot projects are currently being implemented in the framework of the BID-FOMIN project.

Sprinkler systems

This pilot project aims to reduce emissions in the processing of wastewater. Industrial coffee processing plants operating in Costa Rica must have a system of wastewater treatment (STAR) duly approved by the Ministry of Health. The STAR most used because of its economic benefits and efficiency is the sprinkler system on star grass. The project involves the research and evaluation of emissions from greenhouse gas (GHG) in plant samples from each of the different treatment systems used by the industry to determine its emission rate, considering aspects such as its coffee processing capacity and the geographical location and height of the treatment plant.

Additionally, it seeks to measure the emissions emitted by sprinkler systems on star grass in two coffee mills, in order to compare which technology presents fewer GHG emissions and a more profitable cost-benefit relationship.

This pilot project is executed in collaboration with the Universidad Nacional (UNA) on behalf of the Department of Industrialization of the National Coffee Institute (ICAFE).

Use of coffee pulp as an energy source in the coffee processing (gasification)

This project aims to evaluate gasification technology as an option for the adoption of clean energy to maintain the coffee mills’ energy efficiency and financial profitability. Prior, an analysis of the current technological options used for harnessing coffee pulp (bio-refineries, roasting, ethanol derivatives, photosynthetic microorganisms, gasification, pyrolysis, co-firing, bio-digestion of agricultural residues, small-scale livestock bio-digestion, densification, combustion furnaces and the generation of energy using the Rankine cycle). The criteria for analysis and selection of technology were: the maturity of the technology, technical feasibility, costs, humidity, emission reduction potential and electricity generation. As a result, the technology of gasification was selected using densified pulp with dry products. This technology allows power generation throughout the year, as it can be stored for later use.

The Escuela de Ingeniería Química from the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) is dedicated to carry out this pilot project under the consultancy “Implementation and technological assessment of gasification in the coffee industry as an alternative to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions” led by Cindy Torres.

Efficient application of fertilizers

This pilot project aims to assess the nitrous oxide emissions from the application of nitrogen fertilizers in coffee cultivation. The research focuses on comparing emissions from traditional sources and non-traditional ones (slow-release sources stabilized with nitrification inhibitors and urea), and to assess the fertilization practices undertaken and their potential impact on the amount of emissions. The objective is to recommend sources with lower GHG emissions without affecting crop productivity.

The project is conducted by the Mineral Nutrition and Fertilization Unit from the National Coffee Institute (ICAFE) in collaboration with the National Institute for Innovation and Agricultural Technology Transfer (INTA), which has the task of measuring GHG emissions and developing emission factors for N2O in two of the country’s coffee-growing regions during the 2016-2017 harvest. The methodology proposed by INTA has the approval of the National Meteorological Institute (IMN).

Adoption of denser agroforestry systems

This project consists in the design of a methodology for the adoption of agroforestry systems (SAF) with the objective of increasing carbon capture, evaluating the type of adequate shade for the coffee production and improving soil conservation practices, increasing the coffee’s quality. The Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) is responsible for presenting a proposal for the adoption of SAF practices.

Adaptation to Climate Change

This project aims to promote the coffee farms’ adaptation to climate change by sensitizing and training farmers and technicians through developing adaptation measures to climate change. For the project’s implementation synergies with different institutions working in adaptation to climate change were arranged:

- Coffee and Subsistence Agriculture in Central America and ecosystem-based Adaptation (CASCADA) by the Conservation International (CI) and the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE).

- Promoting the coffee industry’s adaptation to Climate Change through capacity building and development of innovative initiatives to finance mitigation and adaptation products on behalf of Fundación Café Forestal (FUNCAFOR) of the COOCAFE Consortium.

Project "Promoting the coffee industry’s adaptation to Climate Change through capacity building and development of innovative initiatives to finance mitigation and adaptation products"

In order to reduce the vulnerability of coffee farms to the impacts of climate change, this project aims to build adaptation capacities and increase the development of innovative products that serve to finance mitigation efforts and adaptation. The project has a budget of US$ 180,000 from the Adaptation Fund of the Climate Change Directorate (DCC) from the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) and is being implemented by Fundación Café Forestal (FUNCAFOR) of the COOCAFE Consortium. The activities were initiated in September 2015 and are aimed to be completed in September 2018, having reached 2349 people. The project’s components are: