It has been an emotional week to say goodbye to Jaén. When the bus pulled off from Jaén bus station, the flashback of the passing six weeks in this small Peruvian northern city was playing in both of our minds…There are many wonderful people and things to recognize here in this blog entry. First of all, we would like to express our appreciation to the CENFROCAFE staff for their hospitality and support to coordinate all the interviews, campo visits and focus group meetings.
Second of all, big thanks to the smallholder coffee producers who participated in our study and presented their home and parcels to help us better understand their needs for each adaptation strategies of our research. Finally, we want to thank our sponsor, Counter Culture Coffee for initiating the whole project and supporting this summer research trip. We have learned a lot in Jaén not only for our Master’s Project, but also for our lives.
All the mountain views were behind us as entering another northern costal city, Chiclayo. Thanks to its geographic location, the city is famous for its ceviche. We took a 1-day break to experience this precious Peruvian gastronomical product. At the same time, our friend, Omar from CENFROCAFE took us to the museum of Tumbas Reales de Señor de Sipán to learn about this great ancient period in the Peruvian history before the Inca period.
After a day and half in Chiclayo, we took an early flight to Lima where we continue onto the third step of our research, Key Actors Interviews (KAIs). By the time of posting this blog, we have done more than 10 KAIs with staffs and leaders from organizations at regional level (Agencia Agraria de Jaén y de San Ignacio), at national level (Ministerio de Agricultura y Riego- DDTA, DIGNA y INIA, Junta National del Café, SENASA, and FINCyT / Innóvateperu), and at international level (Rainforest Alliance). The key actors are very resourceful and knowledgeable about their areas relating to our three strategies. One of our interviewees from INIA (National Institute of Agricultural Innovation), an organization undergoing a reformation itself, shared his opinions on our strategies and his innovative ideas on tree nurseries and seed research technologies. The whole interview was not only a 2-hour KAI, also a private biotech class from a national leading professor!
Well, sometimes the interviews gave us some surprises like the one on Tuesday due to communication complications. We were expecting to have an interview with an engineer from MINAGRI- DDTA and were informed that there might be 2 more staff members who would join us. However, when we walked in the meeting room 10 minutes late after went through Lima’s typical terrible traffic, there were 10 people from 4 different MINAGRI sub-organizations waiting for us to deliver a presentation. It caught us unprepared. Thus, we quickly adjusted our interview strategy to a group discussion session with them. The outcome surpassed our expectations. The leaders and staff gave us their direct views on the strategies and the projects that their organizations have been doing or planning to do in the future. Moreover, from the active discussion among them, we realized the conflictive interests on particular issues and on some of the strategies, so political/ institutional problems would require more of our attention for the feasibility study.
While dazzled by the food and seduced by shopping malls in Lima, we still have 5 more days and 4 more potential interviews here. After all the KAIs, we are planning to do some data organization and have some preliminary results for our reflective blog coming next week. Then, we will pack our bags and put on our touristy hats heading to Cusco/Machu Picchu. Until next time and hasta Cusco!
Jennifer & Zafíra (aka J-Z:D)