Colombia, the world’s third-largest coffee producer after Brazil and Vietnam, is planning to gradually increase its annual harvest in order to reach 17 million 60-kg bags in 2030.
This project involves the renovation of coffee trees, using three rust-resistant varieties, in 10% of the total area planted each year. This could raise productivity from the current average of 18.7 bags per hectare to 22 bags per hectare. But the program also has a social component: to rescue coffee production in areas that had been dominated by guerrillas before the 2016 peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
“In some violent zones, production has been severely reduced during the last decades; and the coffee trees are very old. We cannot expect a huge improvement of production there, but our work with the local producers can result in a better economic and social environment in these areas,” Roberto Vélez, CEO of the Colombian Coffee Federation, tells Global Finance.