Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Climate change adaptation takes root in Peruvian coffee farms

An article by Fairtrade in the Guardian (UK)'s sustainable business partner zone: Climate change is a big risk for small farmers around the world and Peruvian coffee producers are no different. Lower rainfall, higher temperatures, and the rampant spread of disease are becoming the norm rather than the exception.

This year, in particular, has proved challenging as coffee farms throughout Latin America have been devastated by the spread of coffee leaf rust known as "La Roya". Farmers are looking for technical and financial support to be better prepared to tackle climate change along with all the new challenges it presents.

Thanks to the support of Lidl, a German-based chain of grocery stores, farmer members at the Sonomoro Cooperative in Pangoa, Peru, are receiving training to cope with the effects of climate change. In the first phase of this programme, 10 lead farmers – or promoters – were trained by the organisation Twin Trading to conduct risk and opportunity assessments in their communities. A demonstration farm was established where farmers can learn about best practices, including shade and weed management, composting, treatment of waste water and more.

...These promoters are now training farmers in the region in best practices to create more resilient and sustainable farms. A contest during the first phase of the programme recognised the three best farmers implementing adaptation measures.

Along with the need for improved farm management, the promoters identified reforestation as one of the priorities for the region. The search for farmland and timber has left many of the hills in the region barren, exposed to severe erosion, heightening the impacts of unpredictable storms. Lidl is now supporting a second phase of the project to provide additional training on climate change adaptation and supporting reforestation efforts....

Peruvian coffee beans, shot by Annerella, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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