Nicaraguan Coffee Farmers Are Thriving, Contrary To Claims

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

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Jinotega, Nicaragua

Maria Gonzalez knows that growing coffee in Nicaragua’s northern mountains – as she has done since she was a little girl – gets harder and harder each year.

Rising temperatures are spoiling harvests when berries ripen too fast and a coffee leaf disease wiped out about half of the region’s crop between 2012 and 2014, killing most of Ms. Gonzalez’s plants.

Just as her new plants were starting to flourish, whipping winds and torrential rains from hurricanes Eta and Iota last November uprooted the bushes and shook the unripe berries to the ground.

With an initial hard few years now stretching into a decade, coffee farmers like Ms. Gonzalez face a tough decision: stay loyal to their coffee crop or find a new way to survive.

“I’m experimenting with a lot of things because if I see that one is doing better, I’ll stick with…

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