The Coffee++ project in Thailand has been launched to help coffee farmers cope with climate change

Story by: Wannipa Soda, Project Manager (Partnership and Sustainability), Coffee++

Climate change and its impacts are growing more severe and exacerbating environmental degradation. Degraded ecosystems cause declines in coffee productivity and a reduction in coffee growers. To tackle this, a partnership between Nestle and GIZ was established. The alliance, which was commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the Integrated Development Partnership with the Private Sector (iDPP) development partnerships, is part of the global programme “Sustainability and Value Added in Agricultural Supply Chains”. By bringing together multidisciplinary climate-resilient practices and strategic partnerships, the partners aim to promote a healthy and diverse ecosystem and better livelihoods for the farmers.

Striving to support smallholder coffee farmers in dealing with the serious adverse effects of the changing climate, GIZ and Nestle partnered in the “Improving coffee smallholder coffee farming systems in Southeast Asia (Coffee+)” project starting in 2018 to improve the economic viability of the farming system of smallholder coffee growers in selected areas in Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia. In 2022, they agreed to continue the partnership under the iDPP with the project “Transforming livelihoods and climate resilience of smallholder coffee producers through the adoption of regenerative agriculture production systems (Coffee++)”.

Ms Kan Raksanit, Coffee++ farmer member

Coffee++ aims to support smallholder farmers’ economic livelihoods, create better social conditions, and address climate change in selected coffee areas in the three previous countries, plus Côte d’Ivoire, through the adoption of regenerative agricultural farming practices.

The interventions include coffee agroforestry and agricultural farm and landscape restoration as well as proven approaches such as GIZ’s Farmer Business School (FBS), diversifying farm income through intercropping, enhancing the capacity of farmer groups and institutionalising project intervention through strategic partnerships to sustain project measures, resources and approaches.

Farmer Business School training activity for robusta coffee smallholders

This joint project will run for three years in Chumporn and Ranong from 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2025. Project farmers will be trained on agroforestry alongside regenerative agriculture. In addition, digital technology such as a mobile application and smart farming, along with low-carbon farming and environmental healing techniques-RAP (regenerative agricultural practice) will be introduced to coffee farmers in the project areas through FBS, a learning-by-doing approach. The RAPs are not just the solutions that benefit farm income, but are also beneficial to the climate and ecosystem. This includes soil health assessment/soil fertility improvement, soil cover/ soil erosion control, composting production/organic fertiliser application and rehabilitation of coffee trees based on 4C standards.

Members of the Coffee++ Project Team Thailand

By engaging the existing partners, the DOA-Department of Agriculture and the DOAE-Department of Agricultural Extension, and the new strategic partner, the LDD-Land Development Department, the strategic alliances will continue working together to elevate the climate resilience of smallholder coffee farmers. ■

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