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Nicaragua, the largest country in Central America located between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, is renowned for its landscapes featuring lakes, volcanoes, and beaches. However, deforestation in mountainous areas has been a major cause of soil degradation. Land use changes for unsustainable agricultural practices have led to severe erosion, affecting river and lake basins, and jeopardizing the quality of life for inhabitants. Blue Harvest is assisting Nicaraguan producers in appropriately treating wastewater to prevent contamination of rivers and lakes across the country.


new hectacres of land are now managed under restoration approaches in territories where coffee is grown.


hectacres are under watershed protection.


producers are managing the same number of coffee farms.

Blue Harvest and Watershed Restoration

Coffee plays a crucial role in the livelihoods of many rural households in Nicaragua, emerging as one of the country's most important agro-export products. Notably, an increasing percentage of coffee farms now utilize wet milling processes. 

However, without proper management, this process can have adverse environmental effects, producing large quantities of wastewater, commonly known as honey water, which, if untreated, can contaminate nearby water sources, impacting aquatic fauna, flora, and communities reliant on the water for consumption and daily use.

Participating farmers in Blue Harvest promote water-efficient coffee processing methods and ensure proper wastewater treatment to prevent contamination. The project supports producers in constructing Wastewater Treatment Systems (STARs, for the acronym in Spanish) to reduce the pollutant load of coffee by-products, enabling their safe recycling or discharge into water bodies without risking contamination. Additionally, the project advocates for the treatment of coffee pulp for reintroduction into coffee crops, enhancing soil quality and reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers.

areas of focus

On-farm training and technical support

We provide training and expertise in soil and water conservation, soil fertility management, and crop quality to enhance agricultural profitability and climate resilience.

Water resource management

We use state-of-the-art hydrological and agronomic science to monitor and measure water and soil resources, sharing data through user-friendly maps and dashboards for farmers and buyers to understand their products' impact on water resources.

Linking farmers and buyers

We facilitate connections between coffee producers and buyers of high-quality, sustainable products, ensuring that agricultural products meet buyers' standards.

Learning and promotion

Our partners at Blue Harvest are dedicated to continual learning and improvement. We actively engage with researchers, businesses, and the public sector to 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.

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