Promoting academic and technological development in the territory through an internet connection.

Six schools in Briceño with access to the internet.

Our modus operandi to meet the challenge of connectivity has been to use a holistic approach, inviting different players (government, private sector, universities, NGOs) in the development of projects that ALO&Partners advances in non-interconnected areas.

When we talk about connectivity, we refer to its introduction with very clear purposes: the interest and desire of farmers and smaller producers to understand in more detail how their agricultural business really works (because they now have access to data!), to have access to services such as tele-medicine for their own and the wider community’s health and online educational courses, or to use cutting-edge technologies such as blockchain. All of this including access to new services, such as fintech, is leading us to consolidate sustainable models where the service operators are the small producers’ cooperatives themselves.

In the “Café Briceño conectando con el mundo” project, we guarantee high-speed, low-cost internet connectivity using TV White Space technology in the rural schools of Palmichal, Gurimán el Hoyo, Gurimán la Loma, Roblal, Travesías and El respaldo, located in the Briceño – Palmichal corridor.

Access to a reliable, strong internet connection in these schools is key to boosting academic and technological development in the territory, which then contributes to improving the quality of life of the wider community.

It is noteworthy that connectivity is part of the goals of the municipality of Briceño, which has confirmed the success of this holistic work in which different players, from public sector through non-profit organisations to the private sector and academia, come together to work in synergy to achieve the objectives set by responding to the needs of the beneficiary communities.

Today Briceño is connected to the world through high quality internet, and training activities have been deployed to facilitate access to information, education, services and research through the web.

Partners: Mayor’s Office of Briceño, Government of Antioquia,

Technology provider: Servtek

Managers: ALO&Partners – MAKAIA

Briceño’s coffee value chain connected to the world

This is an agreement through grant funding between Tetra Tech and Makaia with ALO partners as operational allies, bringing together our expertise and efforts to positively impact the coffee growing community in the municipality of Briceño, located in the north of the department of Antioquia. This area has been prioritised as a PDET territory and is linked to the National Integral Programme for the Substitution of Illicit Use Crops (PNIS). In this transformation process, the decision was made to focus on coffee as the substitute crop given the environmental conditions and the potential productive capacities of both the territory and the community.

Briceño

Hence, this model was devised to strengthen the coffee value chain, through technical assistance, knowledge and technology transfer on the production processes of differentiated coffee markets, to improve the quality of life of coffee farmers, their families and communities and also to promote social inclusion, collective representation and connectivity while at the same time encouraging integrated gender strategies and actively involving young people as carriers of knowledge and creators of solutions.

This strengthening process moves towards the specialisation of coffee growers in the production of speciality coffees and their insertion in a coffee market with greater economic potential. Additionally, it is accompanied by the structuring of a commercial cooperative model as well as processes of adoption and embracement of ICTs, with the aim of providing useful tools in the development of training and agricultural procedures for coffee growers and their families.

Project implementation: October 2019 – April 2021

Location Briceño – Colombia

Beneficiaries:

Male and female coffee farmers and their families.

Teachers in the region

Young people

Coffee cooperatives

Educational community of the Briceño – Palmichal corridor

Allies:

Tetra Tech

ALO&Partners in cooperation with MAKAIA

Urbania Café and A New Sunrise, private allies and coffee traders

The Coffee 5.0 Model Expands to the Department of Antioquia

ALO&Partners has once again allied with Makaia to continue expanding the Coffee 5.0 Technology Transformation Model that started with the Tierra Colombia Project in Mesetas in the Department of Meta, Colombia. The first replica of this Model is kicking off in the municipality of Briceño, located in the Department of Antioquia. It is a territory that was impacted by the Colombian armed conflict, but has long-lasting tradition and excellence in coffee production. This project is financed by the Community Development and Licit opportunities Program run with USAID resources, and implemented by Tetra Tech Colombia.

This new implementation of the Model will span 18 months and has the purpose of strengthening the coffee value chain of 150 coffee farms through knowledge transfers in coffee technological processes and techniques. This will contribute towards improving their productivity, efficiency, and economic development, offering the opportunity to enter the differentiated coffee market.

6 rural schools will also be connected to the internet using TVWS technology, just as we did with the Tierra Colombia Project. Likewise, a series of technological appropriation and adoption activities as well as digital capacity creation sessions will take place to empower coffee growers in the use of technology as a means to improve their productivity.

In December 2019, ALO&Partners and Makaia carried out three field visits to kick-start the work with the community, meet with strategic allies and socialize some of the key activities that will take place in throughout the 18 months of the project.

We shared with the community. We had the chance of creating spaces and conversations with families, teachers, local assemblies, coffee association leaders and other key organizations to talk about the details of the project. Their involvement and buy-in from the early stages of the project are pivotal to its success. This project has been designed to create positive impact and benefits not only for coffee growers but for their surroundings too. Our premise is to increase productivity and economic development to substantially improve the quality of life of people.

A census for deeper understanding. We developed a data collection instrument that allows us to take a census of all of the coffee farms in the area. We collected coffee samples that private allies (and potential buyers) analyze in cup tastings. This will allow us to select the 150 beneficiary farms of the project, based on a series of objective criteria that draw on the potential of the coffee that they currently produce.

Empowering associations. In this project, we also seek to strengthen the ways in which coffee growers associate. This will help them improve their business practices and capabilities and will also allow them to assemble different agricultural products that they can later sell, creating competitive advantages for them in the market. Together with our allies, at ALO &Partners we seek to create new opportunities to intervene, and we become ever-more inspired by resilient communities that transform their own stories through excellence and vocation.

ALO&Partners Present in the XXXIX Colombian National Agriculture and Livestock Congress

Every year, Colombia’s Agriculture Society (SAC for its Spanish initials) organizes the Colombian National Agriculture and Livestock Congress (CAN). Its 39th version took place in Bogotá, Colombia in November 2019 and was co-organized with members of SAC and the Colombian Government. President Iván Duque Márquez and several of his Cabinet Ministers, including Mr. Andrés Valencia Pinzón, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development participated in the academic agenda.

In this version of the CAN, key topics were laid out as priorities for the development of Colombian agriculture including: the Government’s commitments to transform the Colombian countryside, new agritech, food trends, international commerce, the fight against illegality, legal security and guarantees, and customer-centered marketing, among others.

All of these issues are profoundly aligned with our strategic vision and purposes at ALO&Partners and are the reasons why we participated in this congress, where we presented xFarm, an Italian agritech startup as our strategic and technological ally. With xFarm, we have evidenced the potential of agritech to dynamize agriculture, and showcased technology such as: climate stations, ground sensors, and a software and App that integrates data in a digital ecosystem.

This technology has already been successfully proven in corn and wine crops in Italy and Europe, and is currently being piloted for coffee crops in Mesetas, Meta with the Tierra Colombia Project that ALO&Partners co-manages with the non-profit Makaia, under the leadership of the Fondazione Giuseppe e Pericle Lavazza Onlus and with the technological support of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative. This Project is part of the Coffee 5.0: Technology Transformation Model,which seeks to empower farmers, improve their productivity and quality of life through the adoption and embracing of technological tools, skills and knowledge.

At the CAN, ALO&Partners, xFarm, and Makaia engaged in conversations with companies in a wide array of agro-industries (banana, potato, palm oil, livestock, cocoa) with the purpose of identifying new opportunities to replicate the Model in other crops in addition to coffee. Likewise, strategic meetings were held with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to explore alliances and ways in which this Model can contribute towards the design and implementation of innovative public policy for Colombian agriculture.

At ALO&Partners we are convinced that new technological scenarios and innovative public policy efforts can benefit tremendously from the learnings, experiences and best practices of the Coffee 5.0 Model, generating sustainable impact in diverse sectors of Colombian agriculture.