Last week at the “15th African Fine Coffee Conference & Exhibition”, a diverse group of organizations got together to discuss trends and issues involving the Coffee industry in Africa. The focus of this year’s conference was on Reshaping the African Coffee Industry for Productivity & Investment, yet the main topic of discussion unfolded on the effects of climate change on the coffee production in Africa.
Climate Change Effects on Coffee production
The continent accounts for about 12% of the world’s production and in the recent years, the production has decreased between 200% and 300% according to Coffee farmers in Kenya who participated in AFCA 2017. Official studies provide evidence that “every 1°C rise in minimum temperatures will result in annual yield losses of approximately 137 Kg/Ha when the average smallholder production is currently around 225 Kg/Ha”,
Facing climate change: Irrigation Systems and Forest Tree shade technique
Ethiopian coffee smallholder farmers face similar challenges to those in Kenya. Water availability is a very large problem, droughts are becoming more frequent and very few farmers have access to sprinkling systems. Implementing solutions such as irrigation or planting shade trees have helped farmers mitigate the effects of global warming. However getting governments and organizations involved has become crucial to help them face these effects.
Collaboration and Financial Support
Also present at AFCA 2017 was The Global Coffee Platform, an inclusive multi-stakeholder sustainability platform, pursuing a thriving sustainable coffee sector. By collaborating with local institutions, The Global Coffee Platform is collaborating with a local organization, to share their knowledge and best practices to help African Coffee farmers plan and implement projects that will boost their production.
The local private sector is also key to develop these project, AXiiS is an accessible online financial tool that connects small and medium-sized producers with financial service providers, to facilitate access to finance, so they can invest in strategic projects to adapt to climate change.
Financial institutions such as ResponsAbility, Oikocredit and Root Capital East Africa, have manifested their interest in AXiiS, to support the African coffee industry. FAST’s project manager, Sergio Figueredo, led the conference: Reshaping Access to Finance: Using technology tools to connect Coffee Producers and Impact Investors”. Sergio expressed his satisfaction with the support manifested by the financial institutions who attended AFCA2017. Launched in December 2016, AXiiS has over 5 billion dollars (US) available to finance SME’s through participating Financial Service Providers and it is expected that the projects of the more 30 SME's will generate sustainable impacts in reforestation, water management, and energy consumption.
1. Christine Mungai ( October 22, 2015), Which African countries produce the most coffee? https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/10/which-african-countries-produce-the-most-coffee/
2. Kemantha Govender (April 29, 2015), Coffee production starting to decline. https://phys.org/news/2015-04-coffee-production-decline.html
3. The Global Coffee Platform (February 2, 2017), Overview. http://www.globalcoffeeplatform.org/about/overview