Author: Maria Claudia Valdivia
Forest Ecosystem Specialist. Practical Action
Coffee is one of the agricultural subsectors most vulnerable to climate change. Production and quality are affected by rainfall and temperature variability. A recent study on the evaluation of the impact of climate change on the coffee sector carried out in northern Peru, where 50% of national production is located, has determined that 40% of current producing areas will lose cultivation suitability; it also identifies that more than 440,000 hectares at higher altitudes may have agroclimatic suitability for coffee cultivation, but these are located on protected areas and indigenous territories.
Most coffee producers, as well as other small farmers, have limited capacity to adapt to climate change, given their low levels of education, low incomes, limited land and limited access to technical assistance, markets and credit. The combination between loss of natural suitability for coffee cultivation in producing areas and the situation of poverty and precariousness of producers will produce unprecedented environmental, social and economic impacts throughout the coffee value chain and on those directly involved. This situation has led the State, cooperation organizations and civil society to develop technologies to improve the resilience of coffee producers and landscapes.
Practical Action has demonstrated in San Martín that Multiestrata Agroforestry Systems are a viable solution to face the risks of climate change through different benefits such as securing producers' income and strengthening their capacity to adapt to climate change. Today, through the "Sustainable Management of Biodiversity in San José de Lourdes, San Ignacio, Cajamarca" Project, funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund-CEPF, this model is being strengthened by developing agroforestry practices with local coffee producers and conserving biodiversity. The focus is on the conservation of bird species and their habitat to mitigate the danger of extinction.
This project seeks, in addition, to diversify the sources of income with the development of green businesses resulting in producers more resilient to the change in coffee prices and thus reducing the pressure they exert on adjacent forests; moreover, an inter-institutional technical committee for local conservation has been formed, with whom a Local Biodiversity Management Plan has been worked on. This plan prioritizes other actions such as reforestation as a means of ensuring water supply and recovering the habitat of the Heliangelus regalis hummingbird.
In order to reduce impacts brought about by climate change, it is necessary to innovate and scale up comprehensive experiences such as the Multistrata Agroforestry Systems which seek the economic development of small producers in a sustainable way, helping them to adapt to climate change and preserve local habitats and biodiversity. At the same time these actions are articulated with local, regional and national strategies on climate change and especially contribute to the NDCs.
1. Ilieva, L.; Henderson, C., 2017. Coffee Agroforestry: Transforming a vital agricultural sector for a conservation and development ‘win-win’ in Peru.
2. Robiglio, V; Baca, M; Donovan, J; Bunn, C; Reyes, M; Gonzáles, D; Sánchez, C. 2017. Impacto del cambio climático sobre la cadena de valor del café en el Perú. ICRAF Oficina Regional para América Latina, Lima, Perú & CIAT Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical, Cali, Colombia.
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