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HomeFarming NewsFarmers using self-made biofertilizer to grow the world’s ‘most expensive’ coffee
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Farmers using self-made biofertilizer to grow the world’s ‘most expensive’ coffee

The Lamastus family are farmers from Panama that have been producing some of the finest and most expensive coffee in the world (sold in 2019 for $1,029 per pound), writes Emily Corkhill, marketing manager at HomeBiogas.

Their coffee is world-famous, but most people do not know that the biofertilizer used for growing the coffee is actually created independently by the family, on-site.

Since 1918, the family has been processing and exporting coffee in Boquete, Panama, in the outskirts of the Baru Volcano.

Today, they operate three farms in the area – the El Burro Estate, the Luito Geisha Estate and the Elida Estate.

The Volcan Baru National Park, a virgin native rainforest enveloped by trees, surround all three estates.

Set at a high elevation and enjoying plenty of rain, the estates provide fantastic conditions for growing coffee beans.

Today, the estates produce, process, export and roast their own rare estate coffee, which is considered among the best in the world.

The family uses a HomeBiogas system that is fed food and agricultural waste and produces biofertilizer.

Biofertilizer

It:

  • Improves the soil structure;
  • Provides the soil with long-term health benefits;
  • Increases water retention;
  • Stimulates healthy root development.

The biofertilizer is free as the family produce it on-site. Moreover, there is an endless supply which balances the chemical fertilizer cost surge and shortage.

HomeBiogas is an Israeli company engaged in developing, manufacturing, distributing, and selling domestic and industrial-scale biogas systems that offer a comprehensive solution for waste management, renewable energy creation, clean cooking and fertilizer production.

HomeBiogas uses anaerobic digestion to convert these organic materials into fuel for cooking or hot water and into organic fertiliser.

In addition, HomeBiogas reduces the costs and emissions associated with sending food waste and agricultural waste to landfills.

Organic waste hauled to landfills creates methane which is harming our planet.

The recently published IPCC report prompts calls to tackle methane emissions. It stated that methane gas has more than 80 times more warming power in the near term than CO2.

One of the most important aspects of HomeBiogas is that everything is done on-site.

Biogas plants exist and do an important job, but they are located outside of cities and require hauling the waste in trucks that create pollution.

HomeBiogas systems do everything on-site, thus reducing pollution even more.

Almost all of the commercial fertiliser in Panama is imported, and the cost of chemical fertiliser is on the rise as well.

With Russia producing 30% of all fertilizers in LATAM, prices are skyrocketing at the moment, for example, 350% in Colombia and 300% in Ecuador.

As the cost of fertilizer from abroad continues to increase, Panama farmers are in need of an alternate, local, and more affordable option.

Biogas 

In addition to the biofertilizer, the HomeBiogas system produces biogas that they use to heat the water which cooks the coffee that the Lamastus family drink, creating a perfect circular system.

The Lamastus family is very conscious of their extraordinary surroundings in Panama.

They are committed to protecting the area, which is home to many exotic plants and animals.

It is for this reason that they grow their coffee without any insecticides or herbicides in an effort to keep their estates as free from chemicals as possible.

Panama is a carbon-negative country, and it is important to the Lamastus family to keep these practices up.

The Lamastus family estates have gained a reputation for protecting the environment, and in 2019, they scooped the social responsibility exporter of the year.

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