Monday, September 28, 2009

Coffee Exports and the Ongoing Crisis in Honduras

For those like me who follow the news in Central America, recent reports out of Hondurs is bleak. Both sides seem to be edging towards confrontation, not mediation and resolution. Honduras's power struggle: Zelaya swaps exile for embassy | The Economist Sure, token efforts were made by both sides through participation in talks hosted earlier this summer in Costa Rica. Eventually those talks broke down and both parties returned to their shouting match. One side demanding a return to power. The other claiming crimes that must be tried in court.

However this ends, the short and hopefully not too long term impact this has one the poor of one of the poorest countries in the region is not positive. Numerous reports by Reuters, Bloomberg, and others point to the severe impact this crisis is having on the economy. With a GDP of only USD $14 billion, any disruption will have a major impact as more than 28% of the country's population live below the poverty line. Many foreign nations has restricted or cut back aid to Honduras and trade appears to be suffering as well in the major export markets of textiles, fruit and other agricultural goods.

While Honduras lacks sufficient infrastructure to fully bring one of its principal crops to market, coffee, a report I received earlier last week points to some more hopeful news in that the crisis doesn't seem to be having as large an impact on exports of coffee as it does on others. I am particularly encouraged by this news. I import and sell Honduran coffee through my website (given below) and use part of the proceeds to support not for profits working in the country. I also relieved on behalf of the farmers bringing their coffee to market. They are the ones who do all the hard work. I just point and click. Luckily enough this crisis has come close enough to the end of the growning season that most, if not all, farmers have been able to bring in their crop without problems from this crisis. Not sure what the situation will look like six months from now or at the beginning of the next growing season, but let's all hope for a quick and expedient end to this crisis.

My website: MDM
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