Life beyond coffee
ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE: Doña Julia Rivera learns to diversify in Honduras
Doña Julia lives in a region of Honduras called Marcala, known for its high-quality coffee production. Undernourishment is a widespread problem among coffee farmers in this region. Normally, farmers only earn an income during the four months of coffee harvesting—leaving farmers eight months each year, known as the “thin months,” to survive on their coffee earnings.
In recent years, prolonged dry seasons and a disease called “coffee rust,” which killed 80 percent of Doña Julia’s crop, left many coffee farmers struggling to have enough food to eat.
Doña Julia’s first harvest produced a plethora of cucumbers for her family and neighbors. After the success of her first harvest, she is now growing beans, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, cabbage, and lettuce
Installing drip irrigation on her farm has allowed her to save time, money, and precious water. Through the women’s group, Doña Julia is able to help other farmers increase their food security and survive both the “thin months” and the coffee rust.