1804, in the Comayagua department, was the first recorded harvest. Coffee has played a significant role in the national economy since then, so much so that credit is largely given to coffee for preventing the national government from going bankrupt during financial crisis in 2009.
Established in 1970 (and privatized in 2000), the country’s Instituto Hondureño del Cafe (IHCAFE) has sought to improve the infrastructure that would encourage the development of higher-quality markets, as well as provide hardier varieties and technological advancements, especially to the many smallholder growers. The organization is also very involved in organizing and marketing the country’s Cup of Excellence competitions, which have brought a noteworthy increase in attention and credit given to the finest lots the producers here have to offer.
The geography is ideal for growing coffee, and the outstanding job of the IHCAFE has prompted a sustained growth in the production of coffee in Honduras during the past four decades. This has become a fantastic source of income for the country. During 2011, Honduras surpassed Guatemala as the largest Central American coffee producer and exporter, and by 2012, Honduras had become the second world exporter of washed Arabica coffee.
Today, Honduras is the largest producer of coffee in Central America and the 7th largest world wide. The Country has 18 departments (298 municipalities) and coffee is grown in 15 departments (210 municipalities) of these. Coffee is the way of life for some 350,000 families, generating over 1 million jobs and representing 35% of the agricultural GDP.
Size: 112,090 sq km
Capital City: Tegucigalpa
Population: 9.113 million
Average farm size: Varies, between 1 hectare and 50 hectares
Annual production: 6.5 million bags
Bags exported annually: 6 million bags
Annual domestic consumption: 500,000 bags
Growing regions: Agalta, Comayagua, Copan, Mentecillos, Opalca, El Paraiso
Varieties: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai, IHCAFE 90, Lempira, Typica
Processing Methods: Washed
Bag Size: 69 kg
Harvest Period: December to February
Shipment Period: January to March