Coffee Husk in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta


In the Valley of the Sierra Nevada at the northern Caribbean side of Colombia operates the organic permaculture coffee and cocoa producer Atinkana. Their farmers network, on currently 150 hectares, will use residues of their production, as well as broken tree parts and stems, to produce biochar in soil pits next to their production sites. The biochar will be applied within their network and further help forestation and conservation efforts. The area under Atinkanas management is a mostly untouched reserve, which remains protected for the freshwater supply for close by Santa Marta City.

Project Partner

Atinkana is a one-of-a-kind coffee producer. Not only does their production standard meet the highest standards of regenerative production, but also, their coffee is shipped to Europe by sailing boat, free of emissions. To get to Atinkana Farm, you have to trek through the northern part of Colombia's Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The farm is bathed in sunlight. There is a main house and four outbuildings scattered around the grounds. Currently, Atinkana manages 35 farmers, of which 20 are women. 7 Donkeys are also part of the team.

Project Details

The farm is organised like a small village. There are specific jobs for all areas, which are carried out by different employees. For example, there are the pickers who set off for the plots early in the morning to harvest 100kg of coffee cherries by lunchtime.

Afterwards, everyone fortifies themselves with a good lunch. The food is transported by donkey to the collection points after it has left Siñora Marta's kitchen. What visitors to the farm don't know and can't see is that coffee is just a by-product, because there's more going on here. The purpose of Atinkana Farm is to reforest the rainforest. Coffee cultivation is mainly used to finance the new trees. For every kilo of coffee sold, two trees can be planted and grown. Since 2016, area after area on the 150-hectare farm has been reforested and returned to nature. In 2035, when everything there will be rainforest again, the farm will move to a new area and start all over again.

For the biochar production, the residues of the farming practices, plus woody residues after forest sweeps will be used to produce in decentralized soil pits or small Kon-Tiki kilns. Every farmer under Atinkana will be taught how to produce and apply biochar. The output will mainly be used for the reforestation efforts, as a good biochar-compost mix is a solid supplement for freshly planted trees.

Annual delivery of CO₂ tons:



  • support of further nature conservation efforts
  • strengthening of an environmental ecosystem that is subject to more and more heavy rainfalls
  • additional economic opportunity for farmers who keep the ecosystem intact

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