News » Over 3,000 Costa Rican coffee producers trained on how to tackle climate change

21-09-2017

In three training modules during the months of April until September, 3,000 coffee growers from all over the country were trained in the application of 10 Good Agricultural Practicas (GAPs) on their coffee farms. The workshops were organized by the ICAFE with the support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and carried out by MAG, ICAFE and CIMS technicians.

Climate Change has a visible impact on coffee cultivation - and vice versa, it´s production and processing also impact Climate Change. In around 30 workshops in the country´s eight coffee-growing regions, more than 3,000 coffee producers were introduced to a wide range of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) in order to adapt to climate change, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during coffee production, maintain the productivity of the coffee plantation and, finally, reach a sustainable and environmentally friendly crop. In several thematic stations during each workshop the participants got to know a total of ten BPAs and their importance in detail.

Emission reduction through the optimization of fertilization

At the farm level, the main source of GHG emissions are fertilizers, making the optimization of their application highly important. In order to achieve this, the participants learned how to sample and analyze their soil so as to determine the essential nutrients it possesses, detect possible deficiencies and based on this, elaborate a nutrition plan for their farm including efficient and adequate fertilizer applications.

Adapting to the impacts of Climate Change

Diseases, pests and weeds are highly affected by Climate Change and can change their usual behavior due to increasing temperatures. As a result, participants learned how to control them in an integrated way in order to maintain productivity and harvest quality.

In addition, the workshops focused on the importance of shade trees, which not only store carbon, reducing atmospheric carbon and GHG emissions, but also serve as a tool to control temperature and humidity within the coffee plantation.

As a result of Climate Change, the country's two seasons, the dry and rainy season, have become more extreme with long periods of drought and torrential rains considerably affecting coffee crops. Participants in the corresponding coffee regions were made aware of the importance of scheduling irrigation during drought months, as well as adequate soil conservation to avoid erosion with abundant rainfall.

Next steps in the project framework

Participating producers are currently collecting information about fertilizer use on their farms. With this data, estimates of GHG emissions per hectare will be calculated for each Costa Rican coffee zone, and a baseline will be developed to initiate the implementation of targeted mitigation measures in the different zones in order to measure the tons of GHG impacted per zone.

In addition, the producers will receive follow-up visits on behalf of their technicians. The GAP trainings will continue in the future, albeit in a more personalized way and with smaller events.

Download the materials of the third training module (Spanish only):​

→ Soil conservation

→ Farm management

→ Varieties

Download the materials from all three modules in our download section using the words "BPAs productores" in the search bar (Spanish only). 

Find impressions of the different workshops in our → foto gallery.