Launched in 2018, this project has following key goals:
Install organic coffee parcels in agroforestery system, in unused area.
Reduce erosion in parcels highly exposed to landslide.
Protect up-hill areas that generate springs and torrents and strongly benefit to population for water quality and quantity.
Diversify revenues by planting corn and beans as a transitory crop.
“The coffee trees are part of the forest, where there is shadow, food and protection. A farm which doesn’t have water or forest is doomed to disappear soon.” – Don Norverto Zambrano Velasco
The Cauca department has been highly affected by the Colombian conflict since the beginning of the war, 60 years ago. Affording safe economic opportunities is the way to reach a sustainable peace. In Cauca, coffee farming is playing a huge role in terms of social and economic stability. Coffee is cultivated in small plots, mainly by Afro-descendants, indigenous and peasants’ communities, housing more than 90.000 coffee families, who grows 93.000 hectares of coffee beans. In this context, planting coffee makes senses to reach a territorial peace.
The Cauca department must face another challenge which is climate change. In few years it will be difficult for Colombian farmers to produce coffee at this altitude. This project implements agroforestry as a solution to mitigate climate change in the coffee parcels. It will impact 1200ha of organic coffee parcels and reforestation area, with more than 1500 families of coffee farmers. With the local partner, National Federation of Coffee Growers, the objective is to afford economic opportunities through coffee farming and environmental sustainability through organic production and trees planting.
- Full-sun coffee farms are expanding, and organic practices are still not sufficiently adopted
- Organic practices and agroforestry will help to reverse the trend and protect soils and ecosystems
- Moreover, coffee is particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts, which are already affecting production quality, yields and areas – agroforestry can increase coffee resilience
- Agricultural pressure on local forests and protected areas is high – intensifying coffee production systems in unused, degraded lands belonging to smallholders who lack resources to extend their farms can contribute to mitigating this threat
MULTIPLE ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL BENEFITS
- Development: Fighting rural poverty and contributing to capacity building and sustainable socio-economic development
- Conservation: Preserving forests and natural parks; fighting key deforestation drivers in the area
- Sustainable agriculture: Fostering the transition from full-sun monocultures to agroforestry organic systems
- Minorities’ rights: Contributing to the protection of indigenous reserves and Afro-Colombian community lands
- Securing land titling: Helping sustainably reinforce land tenure for smallholder coffee farmers
Agroforestry and reforestation
Local partnerFederación National de Cafeteros del Cauca
Participants994 farmers, 11 technicians employed
Achievements2302048 planted trees
- The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) is a quality standard for voluntary carbon offset industry. Based on the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism, VCS establishes criteria for validating, measuring, and monitoring carbon offset projects.
Federación National de Cafeteros del Cauca
The FNC is a non-profit democratic and federated organization founded in 1927 to promote the production and exportation of Colombian coffee. It currently represents more than 563,000 producers, most of whom are small family-owned farms. The FNC’s activities are directed towards improving the well-being of coffee grower’s families by providing assistance in sustainable and competitive practices within the industry.
The objective is to plant around 4 820 000 coffee trees and 400 000 native forestry trees.
Participants are both organic certified farmers and organic standard compliant farmers, not yet certified. The project will focus at first (2018-2019) on farmers that already implement organic practices on their farms – whether they are certified or not – to help them expand their growing surfaces in agroforestry systems and restore strategic degraded lands around them.