From Origin

What’s Climate Doing to Guatemala’s Coffee?


The Samalá River watershed on Guatemala’s Pacific coast is a highly productive region for staple and cash crops. It’s also known for having one of the highest incidences of natural disasters in the country. Among the diverse agricultural production in the region, coffee stands as one of the most important export crops. Over the last few decades, Samalá farmers have faced a number of coffee crises, some caused by volatile global commodity markets and some caused by disease outbreaks. Climate variability is also likely playing a role, but little research has conducted to try to quantify this, says Diego Pons from Columbia’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI). In the Q&A below, Pons discusses new work on exploring the relationships between several climatic variables and coffee productivity at different altitudes in the Samalá watershed as well as his survey of local growers about the type of climate information they use. His work in Guatemala is part of the IRI-led ACToday project, part of Columbia World Projects.

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