Biofactories: FECCEG promotes and strengthens technical skills so that farmers can produce their own organic, solid and liquid inputs in different crops. In this way, we guarantee compliance with organic standards and the reduction of production costs in addition to empowering men and women in sustainable production strategies. To date, we have more than 20 biofactories.
Tree renewal and farm redesign: Improving the design of the plantation allows the installation of temporary and permanent shade trees, facilitating the work and reducing costs, incorporating soil conservation practices, introducing high-quality varieties that are resistant to pests and diseases, increasing plant density per hectare, productivity, and creating space for the incorporation of legumes, such as beans, which serves as food for the producer and bring nutrients into the soil.
Crop diversification: In order to guarantee an alternative source of income to the annual coffee harvest, FECCEG encourages short-cycle crops and activities such as beekeeping. These activities seek not only income stability but also food security for coffee-producing communities. Crops such as banana, ginger, mushroom, fruit trees and medicinal plants are developed with technical support and market research. Livestock activities such as beekeeping, fish farming and goat herding complement the local economy and family nutrition.
There are currently 92 active micro-credits in the form of joint responsibility that are managed by the same number of women. They have been supported in the identification, determination of the potential of their businesses and have been trained in the administration of these. The ventures are: bakeries, beauty salons, grocery stores, cultivation of oyster mushrooms, fast food stalls, soap making, sale of lesser-produced cattle and sale of textiles such as huipiles and girdles.
Since the program began, some groups have renewed and expanded the value of their micro-credits and some have already created work for other women. Among the benefits that they mention is the opportunity to generate income for their families, to have resources to pay for the studies of their daughters and sons, to achieve economic autonomy, empowerment in decision-making at home and to be able to increasingly expand investments.
We have installed two permanent community libraries to provide physical space and books linked to the local schools' educational program, as well as summer programs that encourage directed reading.
The libraries offer support to investigations and students' homework. They have a computer and a printer plus support from the community, who pays the wages of a responsible person. In addition, community libraries function as meeting centres for conducting study groups in which women from the community meet to reflect on topics that have been selected by themselves.