IDB to provide loans for Nicaraguan coffee farmers

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced it will provide long-term loans to help Nicaraguan coffee farmers fight the effects of the coffee rust fungus that has hurt production and threatened the livelihoods of millions who depend on the coffee industry.

The project is a partnership between the IDB, Exportadora Atlantic, Starbucks Corp., the International Finance Corp., and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program.

The loan with Atlantic marks the first operation under the $100 million Ecom Coffee Renovation Facility approved by the IDB’s Board of Executive Directors.

“This partnership will help us provide farmers not only with financing to replace old, diseased plants with disease-resistant varieties, but also technical assistance to help them make farming practices more sustainable,” Coffee and Cocoa CEO Ecom Edward Esteve said.

In Nicaragua, the IDB will invest $12 million in a total loan program of $30 million administered by Atlantic. The IFC will invest $12 million; Atlantic will invest $3 million, as will coffee roaster and retailer Starbucks Corp., which will purchase the certified coffee from the project from Atlantic.

“Providing access to financing is part of Starbucks comprehensive approach to supporting farmer livelihoods around the world,” Craig Russell, executive vice president of global coffee for Starbucks, said. “This unique loan program helps farmers make strategic investments in their infrastructure, offering the stability they need to manage ongoing complexities so that there is a future for them and the industry.”

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