the mif blog

Stories of inspiring entrepreneurs and organizations, discussion and commentary of new trends in private sector development, and the latest events and publications.

An opportunity for small Latin America farmers in the global food market

By Fernanda Lopez

In the Latin America and Caribbean region, there are about 15 million family farms, 35% of which rely solely on agricultural activities for their livelihood. Through the “Linking Small Farmers to High-Value Agriculture Markets” agenda, MIF has focused its efforts in providing support to smallholder farmers with the belief that agriculture and food are promising industries that could present a solid business opportunity and a stable income-generating activity for smallholder farmers when they are sustainably linked to local, regional or global markets.

Empowering farmers in Nicaragua and Peru through technology

By Guest


Access to modern technology remains an important barrier for farmers in our countries. Techno-Links, a project by the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) and supported by the MIF and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFTAD), organized a matching grant competition to identify business models that use technology to help improve productivity and output of small producers in Peru and Nicaragua. 

3 things to learn from roya

By Alejandro Escobar A.

By Katalin Solymosi, SCF - SMU

Versión en español 

The coffee leaf rust epidemic in Central America is all over the regional and international media. The MIF reported in detail about the resulting economic challenges for producers earlier in 2013. International conferences and high-level meetings are being held to come up with a coordinated response to la roya, as the plague is called in Spanish. Governments, development organizations, banks and coffee traders are rushing to draft roya renovation projects and commit large amounts of renovation financing. 

Más allá de la roya en la industria del café

By Fernanda Lopez

English version 

El pasado mes de noviembre tuve la oportunidad de asistir a la conferencia Hablemos de Roya organizada por Sustainable Harvest en El Salvador. Mientras las sesiones se desarrollaban, la conversación pareció moverse de la roya a otros temas más estratégicos. Este es un intento por detallar algunas preguntas que saltaron de las conversaciones sostenidas con varios participantes durante el evento:

Roya knows no boundaries

By Fernanda Lopez

Versión en español 

Roya or coffee leaf rust is a fungus that is causing turmoil wherever it spreads. The effects of the outbreak are just beginning: coffee production loss in Central America will most likely increase while roya keeps spreading to countries as diverse as Mexico and Peru. In the former, about 60,000 hectares were affected mostly in Chiapas, Mexico’s main coffee-producing state. In the latter, social unrest led to arrests with about 25% of the coffee production expected to be lost.