There are two problematic solid residues from agriculture and agro‐industry, produced in vast amounts in rural areas: those from coffee bean production and processing and those deriving from the extraction process of olive oil. Notwithstanding these residues originating in different geographical areas, they have striking similarities. They both derive from traditional, conventional and organic agriculture; they have a high content in lignins, celluloses and (poly)phenols; they are produced in million tonnes annually; they pose relevant environmental problems for disposal; they contain bioactive compounds; and the approach for their re‐use is often similar, sometimes overlapping. The most promising re‐uses in rural areas are for agriculture, as animal feed and for energy production. There are also minor uses, suitable for the production of added‐value commodities. The re‐use will be dependent on a variety of factors according to the diversity of (a) pedoclimatic areas that include altitude and latitude, soil texture and organic matter content, water regime and availability, (b) level of expertise of the small farmers, (c) social environment that includes training opportunities and availability to create associative forms among producers, (d) access to trade and communication networks and (e) easy access to community‐level processing installations. The perspectives of agronomic management and valorization are compatible with the objectives of a regenerative, sustainable agriculture.
Part of the book: Solid Waste Management in Rural Areas
The production of coffee in Ecuador a family activity carried out in rural areas. Due to the economic importance of this crop and its ability to adapt to different ecosystems, it has been widely introduced in government conservation and economic reactivation programs. At the present, it is cultivated in the four Ecuadorian natural regions that comprise the Amazon rainforest, the Andean mountains, the Pacific coast, and the Galapagos Islands. The different climate and altitude characteristics of these regions allow Ecuador to grow all commercial varieties of coffee. The variety planted, the region of origin, and the type of post-harvest processing gives each cup of coffee a unique flavor and aroma. To recovery the knowledge behind each production process, a complete review of the whole coffee productive chain was made. The information reviewed was compared with the available information of other neighboring countries and complemented with experiences described by small farmers. The analysis confirms that Ecuador has a competitive advantage due to its ecosystem diversity. However, the development of this industry depends on the correct implementation of policies that cover three main aspects: (1) farmers’ quality of life, (2) training and research programs, and (3) fair trade for small producers.
Part of the book: Sustainable Agricultural Value Chain