La Papaya Technology, Mother Plants & Education New Producers

Juan Peña Technology. 

Juan Peña graduated with an engineering degree in agronomy from the University of Cuenca.  He always had an interest in delivering the proper nutrition to a coffee plant in a manner that optimized the flavor of the bean.  Juan worked with the University of Cuenca for several years to develop his own fertilizer which is a main component of his success. This research now continues with the University Catholica, department of agronomy. 

Three years ago, Juan Pena developed and introduced technology to maintain a proactive approach to plant nutrition and health.  Sensors were installed in the soil at the farm to measure, in real time, the levels of potassium, phosphorus, nitrogen, pH, temperature, and humidity in the ground near the plants. Besides being able to make quick adjustments in fertilizer and water, this application also allows us to look at data from the sensors versus actual production over time. 

Juan also developed an application to monitor and control pests and diseases. This application allows us to monitor the incidence of diseases and act in a preventive way, improving quality, productivity, and most importantly, minimizing the use of products.

Watching production patterns as a function of this information has provided insights that allow continuous improvements to our coffee. A basic idea enhanced through technology by a proactive producer.

Mother Plants.

At Hacienda la Papaya and the majority of other farms on our menu, we can guarantee that all seeds used to expand production are only those that come from the Mother Plant, thus maintaining the DNA and flavor of the original variety. We take great care in maintaining our nursery at the Hacienda. Maintenance of the “mother plant generation of seed” is hugely important in continuing the consistent quality of harvest each year.

Training for Agricultural Supervisors in Ecuador.

Together with the Chamber of Industries of Cuenca and the Catholic University of Cuenca, CafExporto is designing a university course to train Ecuadorian workers as professionals in the cultivation of coffee. This program will create numerous opportunities and will lead to higher professionalism, and evenurally, a higher quality of coffee production in the Country. The course model consists of two tracts: (i) workers attending classes virtually, after their working hours; and, (ii) fifty percent of their working hours are dedicated to developing research topics, putting them into practice in real projects within their workplace, developing in a 100% practical environment together with professionals and professors involved in the entire coffee production chain. 

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