12 February 2015 – The initiative for coffee and climate (c and c), of which CABI is a member, today produced a new publication on Climate Change Adaptation in Coffee Production: A step-by-step guide to supporting coffee farmers.

Coffee production and the livelihoods of coffee farmers and their families around the world are at risk from climate change. Farmers are experiencing increasingly extreme and unpredictable weather and climate patterns. They can no longer expect the favourable conditions that a perennial crop like coffee needs for consecutive harvests. This has major implications for their livelihoods and farming strategies. How should they adapt? The c&c guide helps answer this question.

Focusing specifically on adaptation at the farm level, the step-by-step manual describes a participatory methodology developed over recent years in c&c’s pilots in Brazil, Vietnam, Tanzania and Trifinio (triangle of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) to enable coffee farmers to better respond to climate change. The manual complements a ‘training of trainers’ concept: c&c experiences are shared with other extension agents and farmer support services, helping scale up the approach beyond pilot regions. The c&c methodology was developed as a genuine mainstream solution and can be applied in any farmer training worldwide.

CABI’s Dr Peter Baker was a contributing author to the publication. “I believe what we’ve produced is a state-of-the-art guide that can help support farmers today,” said Dr Baker. “Many people still talk in terms of the effects of climate change happening in the future – 2030 and beyond. But the reality is that coffee farmers are feeling the effects today. ‘Now’ is the timeframe we need to be working in and this guide helps us do that.”

The c&c initiative invites stakeholders to make active use of its approach and toolbox; the toolbox is a compilation of methodologies, guidelines and training materials, which enable farmers to cope with climate change.

Michael Opitz of the Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS), implementation partner of c&c, commented that he believes the cooperation of all stakeholders along the coffee value-chain is vital to effective climate change adaptation. The c&c approach is a compatible and complementary methodology of identifying and scaling up best practice, innovation and linkages.

The initiative will also look beyond the farm level and address adaptation in broader landscapes or ecosystems, mobilising rural communities to help them protect their livelihoods. These are elements that c&c will take on board and thoroughly address with partners in the second phase of the programme, which is envisaged to extend until 2017.

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