As of May of next year, Ecuador would have access to new varieties of Arabica coffee developed by private companies, which would produce between 200% and 400% more than traditional varieties and would also be resistant to pests and diseases such as rust, fungus that affects the crops.
This, after the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) asked Nestlé to release the results of an investigation that developed from 2012 to 2018 in Zamora Chinchipe, Loja and Pichincha within its plan ‘Coffe Proyect’.
This program managed to develop new varieties of Arabica coffee from a group of hybrids -F1- created by the Nestlé Research Tour research center in France and its station in the Nanegal parish (Pichincha).
Julio Torres, head of research at Café de Nestlé, said that the company has been working in the country for more than 20 years, not only on Arabica coffee, but also on Robusta and also on cocoa, but with the results obtained up to 2012 He started the ‘Coffe Proyect’.
He explained that the objective of the project was to test the varieties of F1 Arabica coffee in real conditions with 31 small coffee growers.
“This is very common for Nestlé to do it in other countries where coffee production is a priority, as in Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia, and this is the first time it has been done here in Ecuador, even the Coffe Project was the first initiative Nestlé worldwide to work with small farmers, “said Torres.
He added that after receiving the requirement of the MAG, Nestlé began the search for strategic allies to produce the total volume of seeds that the Government required. The company chosen was the azenya group Azende Pilcocaja, to which Nestlé has transferred all its technology to start seed production.
Another particularity of the project, said Torres, is that it is the first initiative worldwide that is developed for the production of Arabica coffee hybrids through seeds and not by cloning as is the case with hybrids developed in Central America and other countries of the world. world.
“This is going to start replicating in other countries, but for now Ecuador is the first worldwide that produces seeds of hybrids,” said the expert, who revealed that Nestle invested in the Coffe Proyect $ 180,000 and that the company is gradually investing around $ 800 thousand in research programs in Ecuador, including cocoa, Robusta coffee and Arabica coffee.
Regarding the expectations after the release of the new varieties in 2020, Torres said that the goal is to plant 10,000 hectares of coffee until 2022, and that the idea would be to project the production potential, as he indicated that these materials have a production average of 1.5 to 2 tons per hectare.
“Assuming that we have 10,000 hectares planted at two tons per hectare, we would be talking about Ecuador being able to produce 20,000 tons in one year,” the Nestlé spokesperson estimated.