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.

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. 

Sweet news from Paraguay

By Fernanda Lopez


Stevia – or Ka'a He'e (sweet herb) - is a natural, calorie-free sweetener known in Paraguay since hundreds of years. Over the past 7 years, the sweetener’s popularity has increased not only as an alternative for people diagnosed with diabetes, obesity and heart disease, but also as a feasible alternative in a market where prices for more traditional sweeteners have augmented as a result of growing global demand. Since 2009, the MIF’s High Value Markets team has been working with the Paraguayan Stevia Chamber (CAPASTE) on a project aimed at improving the competitiveness of the Stevia value chain in Paraguay. 

Quinua: de grano sagrado de los Incas a superalimiento del siglo XXI

By Fernanda Lopez

En el Año internacional de la Quinua, el FOMIN quiere brindar un perfil de este cultivo milenario cuya alta demanda mundial se debe, al menos en parte, a su alto valor nutricional. El boom en la demanda y precios internacionales de este cultivo están brindando mayor estabilidad financiera en zonas productoras -  particularmente a pequeños productores del área rural. A pesar de esto, este periodo de bonanza también plantea una serie de cuestionamientos relacionados con seguridad alimentaria e impacto medioambiental y social.

QUINOA: From Golden Grain of the Incas to superfood of the 21st century

In the International Year of Quinoa, the MIF wants to provide a profile of this ancient grain whose worldwide demand in the last few years has been driven by its high nutritional value. Increases in demand and prices are providing economic stability to producers - often smallholder farmers in rural areas - while at the same time posing new questions related to food security and environmental impacts.