The 'Biofuels: Use of the wet milling waste coffee' project seeks to impact the reduction of production costs and increase profitability of coffee cooperatives and income of farmers in Honduras. In addition, the project aims to contribute to reducing the environmental impact generated by the coffee sector in Honduras, using more efficient waste generated to produce renewable energy (biogas) and organic fertilizers.
The project runs for three years, from April 2014 to April 2017 and the total project amount is US$ 1.4 million, financed by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the Inter-American Development Bank. The project includes five components:
1. Measuring the carbon footprint and efficiency in resource consumption
2. Improved efficiency in the use of resources and use of biogas
3. Development of organic products
4. Strengthening extension services of coffee institutions
5. Knowledge management and dissemination of project results
A pilot to demonstrate the economic, social and environmental benefits generated the proper treatment of waste (liquid and solid) resulting from coffee processing will take place. The wet processing wastewater feedstock used to generate renewable energy (biogas), which in turn can generate electricity and heat for use in drying and roasting of coffee, replacing the use of energy from fossil fuels. The waste generated in the production process of coffee production and biogas is used to produce organic fertilizers to replace part of the currently used chemical fertilizers. The project will also provide training for technicians at the Honduran Coffee Institute (IHCAFE) in order to build local institutional capacity to promote and adopt these technologies.
This initiative will help reduce the environmental footprint of coffee and show how efficient use of waste can contribute to closing the virtuous circle for a more sustainable coffee production, particularly in rural areas that lack a permanent power supply and quality. The project also involves developing a market for suppliers with greater technical capacity and knowledge in the design, installation and maintenance of biodigesters, and training providers, professional firms and three Municipal Environmental Units (UMAs) to raise their awareness on the benefits of these technologies. Disseminating methodological guides that allow learning and scaling of the initiative, using innovative ways as the Internet, cell phones and agency knowledge management platforms will be generated.