In this day and age, coconuts seem to be, somehow, everything at once. You can buy oil from coconuts—not to be confused with butter from coconuts—and flour and sugar and milk and aminos and vinegar from coconuts. The coconut market is booming.
But the long-term outlook for coconuts? Not as good. In the Caribbean, bacteria that cause lethal yellowing are wiping out coconut trees—a situation so bad that a regional coordinator told Bloomberg, “It’s fair to say that at this pace, the Caribbean is running out of coconuts.” In Cote d’Ivoire and Papua New Guinea, lethal yellowing or a similar disease is threatening plantations specifically set up to safeguard coconut varieties for future generations. These aren’t the biggest coconut producing countries—that would be Indonesia, the Philippines, and India—but they are ominous signs for the rest of the world, especially if coconut diversity is not saved.
And coconut seeds are uniquely difficult to save for posterity. For most other crops, scientists maintain gene banks, usually in seed vaults comprising hundreds of different varieties. If future crop geneticists need to breed wheat resistance to an emerging disease or lettuce optimized to grow in drought, they can draw on the genetic diversity saved in these seeds. It’s a way to combat monoculture and an insurance against a changing world.
Seed vaults, though, are no use to the coconut. “It works fine for all of the temperate crops where the little seed dries down,” says Kenneth Olsen, a professor of plant biology at Washington University. “Coconut has got so much water in it.” (Coconuts seeds are literally the whole coconut.) The only way to bank coconut diversity is a living gene bank—in other worlds, a plantation where coconuts are grown continuously. There are five international coconut gene banks, in Brazil, Indonesia, India, Cote d’Ivoire, and Papua New Guinea. And the last two are threatened by lethal bacteria.
Angelos Restanis / 28 Mar 2018
MANAGUA, NICARAGUA – The Nicaragua Tourism Board (INTUR) expects an influx of at least 104,000 national and international tourists during the Easter vacation week, an increase of 7.5 percent from the same period last year.
Nicaragua, like most Latin American countries, will be celebrating Easter holidays (“Semana Santa” or Holy Week) from March 25 to April 1. Semana Santa is one of the most celebrated festivities
in the country, occurring during the week before Easter Sunday. Many Nicaraguans take the weeklong vacation to head to popular beaches and vacation spots, such as San Juan del Sur and the Caribbean coast, where beaches turn into party scenes.
Overall, INTUR foresees a total of 3.9 million domestic trips during the Easter vacation, a 5 percent increase from the previous year. “We will be welcoming visitors with open arms and we will be carrying out over 180 Easter-related activities during this period,” said INTUR’s Co-Director Anasha Campbell.
There are plenty of celebrations to choose from for travelers looking to participate in Easter activities. During Holy Week, different processions and authentic traditions take place throughout the country. One of the most popular events is ‘The Donkey Procession’, which takes place on Palm Sunday. A statue of Jesus (or a real person dressed as Jesus) sits atop a donkey as parade participants walk around town singing and praying. Semana Santa is also a time when red meat is not consumed so travelers will find vegetarian and fish specials aplenty at many restaurants. In Nicaragua, traditional Holy Week dishes include almibar, a sweet syrup-like drink made with mangoes, coconut and papaya; cheese soup made with corn and similar to a chowder; and Gaspar fish cooked with spices and served with rice.
According to INTUR’s projections, the tourism sector will generate more than 20 million dollars in revenue during the Easter vacation period. Nicaragua welcomed 1,887,260 international tourists in 2017, an 18.8 percent increase from the previous year.
When compared, Costa Rica scores high on level of crime compared to low in Nicaragua
Nicaragua claims to be the safest country in Latin America says a report by the Latin American Herald due to its sophisticated “Containment Wall” public safety strategy.
The report says that Nicaragua’s capital city deputy police chief Fernando Borge told EFE, “We have a comprehensive public safety strategy. It is (due to) the joint effort by all institutions and the National Police, with the population playing a major role.”
Nicaragua’s murder rate dipped to an 11-year low of 7 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2017, the lowest among the Central American countries, according to Borge.
The country’s murder rate is also the second-lowest in Latin America, with Managua being the second-safest capital in the Western Hemisphere, trailing only Ottawa, Canada.
More than half of the calls received by the Emergency Response Service (SEREP) call center concern misdemeanors such as street fights, thefts or traffic accidents, unit head Marco Antonio Lanuza told EFE.
The 70 men and women working at SEREP handle between 6,620 and 8,350 calls a day, with a police response time of between seven and 10 minutes after a call is terminated.
JUNE 13, 2016
Coffee exporters play a crucial role in the coffee supply chain, and yet we hear so little about them. So we spoke to Diana Acosta, a third-generation exporter from Honduras, to find out a little more about her job.
Read on to discover what a coffee exporter does, what their challenges are, and how they make a living even during the off season.
The life of a coffee exporter is hectic. In a nutshell, it’s their job to manage the producers, get the coffee processed, and then ship it, all while trying to get the best price. This means they must also monitor market prices from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed.
So where do they begin? For starters, exporters must establish links with the producers and obtain samples from them; only after this can the coffee be assessed and graded.
However, grading samples isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. Once an exporter has received the tasters, they must then go through a strict and lengthy cupping process. This means that the exporter needs to weigh the beans, evaluate their humidity, assess how long the coffee needs to rest, and determine any defects. Phew! And while cupping 20 coffees a day may sound wonderful to us, Diana insists that it can send you a little “coffee loco”.
Once all the coffee samples have been cupped and evaluated, the exporter will give them a quality grade and they will then be stored in line with their grading.
After finding a buyer happy with both the quality and cost of the coffee, the exporter must then prepare the beans for shipping. Throughout the process, they’ll continually cup it to make sure that it still meets the desired standard.
The preparation process has many steps and runs as follows:
Drying: The coffee is washed through the mill and dried for anywhere between 25 and 30 hours, depending on the humidity. Separate mills are used for speciality coffee due to the different quantity of coffee that is being processed.
Cleaning: The beans are then cleaned to remove any remaining coffee cherry flesh.
Sorting: The coffee is sorted by the weight and colour of the beans.
Packaging and storage: The beans are bagged and stored in the right conditions ready for shipping.
About three weeks ago I received the popular, Ultimate Carbon Kit from Carbon Coco! I instantly put it to use because I was very eager to see if I would get results. I am personally an avid coffee drinker, so originally I was skeptical if this would do anything to my teeth. Read through to see how the 14 days of using this product went.
The toothpaste specifically, has an activated charcoal fluoride-free formula that helps you fight cavities, plaque, gingivitis, and most importantly, bad breath! According to the Carbon Coco website, “this toothpaste reduces bacteria build-up by up to 90% for 12 hours and penetrates deep between teeth to fight bacteria plaque.”
This product from Carbon Coco contains a pitch-black powder made of Organic Coconut Shell Activated Charcoal with a hint of bentonite powder and lemon myrtle which works together to whiten and polishes your teeth. All of this is without the use of toxic chemicals used in commercial tooth whitening products. The product as a whole is 100% natural and does an incredible job of whitening your teeth and pulling out unwanted toxins from your body.
Trees are obviously good for the planet. What’s not so clear to most people — governments, NGOs, investors, the public — are their socioeconomic benefits. Trees are essential for the economy, our health and our wellbeing.
Research shows that every $1 invested in restoring degraded land generates an estimated $7–$30 in economic benefits, including improved food production, carbon sequestration and water quality. Yet each year, deforestation and land degradation costs the world $6.3 trillion in lost ecosystem services such as agricultural products, recreational opportunities and clean air — equivalent to 8.3 percent of global GDP in 2016.
Despite these clear costs and benefits, restoration receives only a tiny fraction of the funding it needs. That’s where governments come in.
A new WRI report, “Roots of Prosperity: The Economics and Finance of Restoring Land,” looks at the barriers and opportunities to scale up finance in restoration.
Governments can design policies and strategies that help unlock restoration finance, including:
1. Monetizing environmental and social benefits: Carbon taxes are gaining momentum around the world. This is set to continue as 81 national climate plans (PDF), known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs), include some form of carbon pricing. Directing some revenues or proceeds from carbon pricing to climate solutions such as restoration will increase the impact of these prices in tackling climate change.
2. Shifting incentives from land degradation toward restoration: In Costa Rica, for example, the government phased out cattle subsidies in 1991 and began financing restoration through a 3.5 percent tax on fossil fuels. This helped to increase national forest cover from 29 percent in 1991 to 54 percent in 2015 and supported the rise of eco-tourism, which contributes 5.8 percent of national GDP.
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WATCH A NICARAGUAN ADVENTURE FULL OF TASTY WAVES AND CAFFEINATED BUZZES
BY BEN WALDRON
For a lot of surfers coffee is a ritualistic part of their morning surf routine. Seeing a steaming cup from the local donut shop, or a hot mug of home brew, in the hand of a surfer as he or she assesses ante meridiem conditions is as common a sight in the beach parking lot as the sea itself.
Does the warm caffeinated beverage enhance one’s surfing? Dean Petty, Mikey Detemple and Lee Meirowitz seem to think so. In the adventurous and whimsical style of Bruce Brown the trio travel to Nicaragua with filmmaker Harrison Newman Jardine for a coffee-fueled surf safari in “Perfectly Caffeinated.” Watch the trio score some fun waves and gain an education on the coffee cultivating process.
Managua, Nicaragua; February 21, 2018
A trade mission from Canada arrived in Nicaragua February 20th, with the objective of exploring business opportunities in the country. The mission was comprised of more than 10 Canadian companies in the agroindustrial and renewable energy sectors and was led by the Chief Commissioner for Trade of the Embassy of Canada in Costa Rica, Eve Giguere, and trade delegates of the Embassy of Canada in Costa Rica, Alexander León and Adolfo Quesada.
Quesada spoke about the interest shown by Canadian companies in investing in the renewable energy sector in Nicaragua and highlighted the success that Canadian companies have had in the country with energy projects, such as the rural electrification project, PERNICA. “This program has been very successful, and has allowed the country, to a certain extent, to penetrate in rural areas where there was no power. This goes hand in hand with the strategy of the Government of Nicaragua to bring electricity to the most vulnerable areas of the country,” he said.
The representatives of the Canadian companies that were part of the mission showed interest in establishing operations in Nicaragua thanks to its favorable investment climate and growing consumer market.
In this context, Saturn Power Inc., a solar and wind power development company, expressed interest in investing in the country. Founder and vice president, Jeremy Goertz, met with the head of the Nicaraguan Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM, by its Spanish acronym), Salvador Mansell, and representatives of PRONicaragua to learn more about the energy sector and the various investment opportunities the country offers.
As of today, Nicaragua and Canada have yet to sign a Free Trade Agreement that offers attractive conditions between both nations; however since 2008, the CA4 block of Central America countries (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua) and Canada, have resumed negotiations in Ottawa, to discuss market access issues. Meanwhile, Nicaragua operates under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) with several countries, including Canada, Norway, Russia and Japan. Specifically with Canada, there is duty free access for citrus fruits, watermelon, cantaloupe, papaya, seafood, bananas, tropical fruits, pineapple, tubers, eggplant, cauliflower, tobacco and spinach. Preferences are also granted for industrial goods.