Hectares under regenerative agriculture
Water sources protected
El Salvador needs regenerative agriculture
Agriculture covers nearly ¾ of El Salvador’s land, and poor agricultural practices have been a driver of land degradation for much of the past century. In large part due to deforestation and soil erosion, most of the major rivers of El Salvador have lost more than 30% of their base flow over the past thirty years and 90% of surface waters (streams and rivers) are severely contaminated. El Salvador urgently needs to shift toward regenerative farming at a massive scale to restore its land a water resources.
Since 2014, Blue Harvest partners have been working key watersheds across the country to protect springs and streams that supply water to hundreds of rural and urban communities. This work has demonstrated how the application of key regenerative farming practices can significantly improve water quality, water flows, crop productivity, and income of farmers producing healthier and more sustainable crops.
Our work in El Salvador started with coffee and has expanded into diversified farming systems, including cacao, fruit trees, vegetables, corn (maize), beans, and sugarcane.
On-Farm Training and Technical Support
We provide training and expertise in water and soil conservation, soil fertility management, agronomy, and crop quality to increase farm profitability and climate resilience.
Water Resources Management
We monitor and measure water and soil resources using state-of-the-art hydrological and agronomic science, then share data through user-friendly maps and dashboards so that farmers and buyers to understand how their products impact on water resources: #knowyoursource
Linking Producers and Buyers
We connect farmers with buyers of high-quality and sustainable products, primarily coffee and cacao. We ensure that farm products meet the standards buyers expect.
Learning and Advocacy
Blue Harvest partners are committed to continuous learning and improving, by constantly sharing and engaging with researchers, businesses, and the public sector. We advocate for policies and practices that promote regenerative agriculture and protect water sources.
In El Salvador, Blue Harvest is led by CRS and local NGOs in partnership with innovative coffee roasters, chocolate companies, and other business partners. The work is supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation through the Water Smart Agriculture program and the Agricultural Landscape Restoration Initiative.
Practical Application of Blue Harvest in El Salvador
Blue Harvest coffee farmers in the Cacahuatique mountain range protect water resources that provide drinking water to tens of thousands of people, including the town of Osicala. Coffee roasters and importers in the UK, Europe, and the source coffee from farmers and cooperatives, paying price premiums that enable farmers to farm sustainably and make living incomes.
The RENACER Coffee School in Apaneca (western El Salvador) has trained hundreds of farmers in Blue Harvest farming practices, impacting more than 3000 hectares of coffee farms.