Submitted by Norm on Thu, 08/22/2019 - 07:32

In Colombia and Central America, coffee is typically grown on hillsides where mechanization is more difficult, and hand-picking cherries has kept production costs relatively high. The African sector, meanwhile, is dominated by small-scale farmers often unable to raise the capital needed for new techniques. Rinco bought his harvesting machine for around 600,000 reais ($155,600) and is paying the agricultural supplies company with coffee, delivering 400 bags a year over four years. This kind of bartering is common in Brazilian farming. One such machine in Brazil replaces dozens of people in the field. Even with financing and fuel bills, farmers and machine manufacturers say there is a reduction of 40% to 60% on harvesting costs. “Beyond the lower costs, it made my life less complicated,” said Rinco, relieved at no longer having the grueling task of hiring suitable pickers every year for the harvest at his farm in the Sao Joao da Boa Vista area. “People don’t want to pick coffee anymore, they go to town to find something else to do.”