We’ve published the final results of a study into farmer economics in 11 coffee-producing countries conducted this summer in partnership with TechnoServe.
The scan benchmarks and identifies opportunities for potential benefits to coffee farmers from improved farm profitability and increased supply chain efficiency.
You can see the full report and individual country reports online here, but key findings include:
Yields could be increased (from 10% in Vietnam to 100% in Peru) over the next five years by improving agronomy practices (e.g. pruning, plant nutrition, weeding, integrated pest management), farm rehabilitation (e.g., rejuvenation/stumping, replanting), and input optimization).
Achieving these yield increases across the 11 countries in the study would add 2.5 million MT of annual production by 2027 and generate $2 billion additional farmer income annually at current price levels.
Naturally, in order to increase yields farmers would bear additional labour and non-labour costs, though production costs per pound basis would decrease.
The most effective training programs feature community trainers and hands-on instruction delivered monthly to small training groups. This model offers lasting positive impact on yield and farming practices.
Even though women perform a significant amount of the labour in coffee farming, women currently receive only 5% of agronomy extension services (FAO).
When women have increased control over income, it is more likely to be spent on children’s health, nutrition and education.
Therefore, to increase the likelihood that coffee income will benefit the whole family, we need to increase women’s influence over coffee expenditure decisions through training of both women and men on coffee marketing and financial literacy.
Arabica farmers at higher altitudes can increase incomes through quality improvement, with opportunities for the greatest number of farmers in Ethiopia and Indonesia.
Achieving quality improvements across six priority countries in the study would generate $200 million additional farmer income annually.
However, changes to trading systems are required to incentivize quality improvements in some origins (e.g. Indonesia, Honduras, Peru) and some farmers require access to central wet mills in order to improve quality (e.g. Ethiopia, Tanzania).
This report forms a part of our Economic Viability of Farming Collective Action Network, which helps the sector to prioritize actions with the potential to have an impact on increasing farm profitability.
Sign up to join our next webinar on 24 October to find out more information about the progress made so far and how you can contribute to the Collective Action Network.
The economic viability of farming is also the key theme of our Global Coffee Sustainability Conference and GCP Membership Assembly 2017.
The conference will take place on 4-5 October in Geneva, and will bring together experts and stakeholders to build on the outcomes of the World Producers Forum and agree on concrete, practical next steps to help make farming coffee economically viable.