Changes in the climate are no secret to the coffee industry. Around the world coffee farmers are struggling to keep their crops and make the paralleled transition with the climate. From fungus on the plant’s leaves to complete crop destruction, farmers continue to scuffle with Mother Nature.
Coffee & Climate, whose motto is, “enabling effective response” launched their ‘toolbox’ initiative in February of 2013. Project Manager, Mike Adler, is inviting us all to help spark this global and collaborative learning process. It is aimed to help coffee farmers adapt successfully to climate change.
According to their website, www.coffeeandclimate.org, “The c&c toolbox is a compilation of guidelines, training materials and other didactic material to inform, capacitate and empower farmers to cope with and adapt to climate change. It addresses the lack of systematically documented information and shared knowledge on good adaptation and mitigation practices in the coffee sector.”
The main purpose of the toolbox is to initiate a collaborative and global learning process by collection, evaluation, and the further development of practice and experience from the coffee fields.
References and recommendations will be made available to bring to the field with the assistance of preexisting farmer know-how and knowledge. Via the web, tools and instruments necessary to aid farmers are becoming readily available. This includes a global knowledge-sharing platform that will at some point in the future become the climate change information hub for the coffee sector.
The website states, “The objective is to share, collect and consolidate knowledge and experiences on climate change adaptation and mitigation, to support adoption and implementation efforts and to stimulate interaction and communication between scientific research and implementation in the field. This toolbox is the tool needed to close information gaps but bringing together individuals of different levels of knowledge, expertise, implementation, and location to share their personal experiences and information that others may or may not have.”
The framework is designed to instill change for coffee farmers everywhere.
It all begins with risk assessment of climatic risks. Then reevaluation of tool utility is done through experts. Collaboratively, responses are identified and then implemented to the area in need. Monitoring of the process is done, accompanied by an evaluation of the effectiveness. Case studies are then generated for further knowledge and references for cases to come.
A single solution that is successful for farmers in Brazil may not be the same solution for coffee farmers in Costa Rica. A locally appropriate solution must be defined in each designated area. It is done though triangulation method between farmers, local experts, and scientists.
The toolbox wizard is one of the most important tools within the box. It generates information that is specified by relevance of criteria to the area one wishes to improve. Climatic hazard, countries, tool type, coffee variety, and purpose are the five drop down boxes that helps generate the information. After filling out the dropdown menus, results are made available with information that has been shared.
The amount of information stored in this toolbox from just a few months past its launch date, is not only impressive but the first step toward helping farmers around the globe with climate changes.
Scientists, farmers, experts, and individuals alike must band together to help each other. The coffee industry, from the United States where coffee is widely consumed, to farmers in Honduras and Guatemala who provide the beans, lend a helping hand whenever possible.
The Coffee & Climate Toolbox initiative is a tool that everyone in the coffee industry should have in their box. Since the climate around the world is constantly changing, we must change with it. When a country experiences a drought for the first time, this toolbox will be their answer on how to keep afloat. So please, care and share the information in your box.
Contact name: Mika Adler
Website: http://toolbox.coffeeandclimate.org/ and for the initiative: coffeeandclimate.org
Location: Brazil, Trifinio (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras), Tanzania, Vietnam