Championing agroforestry for a climate resilient coffee sector and improved farmer income

New case study published from GCP and P4F partnership in East Africa

A new case study has been published with lessons from agroforestry-focused work that has been running in East Africa over the past year through GCP with the support of Partnerships for Forests (P4F).

Over the past year, P4F has supported GCP to integrate agroforestry components into policies and processes in three East African countries: Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. The aim of this initiative has been to enhance the climate resilience of coffee production, promote biodiversity, and improve the livelihoods of coffee farmers.

A new case study from the partnership shares key lessons from the GCP agroforestry programmes in East Africa and how this work is enhancing coffee resilience and farmer livelihoods. These lessons can assist in scaling work within the coffee sector – a critical crop for the region, supporting the livelihoods of millions of smallholders.

In particular, the case study highlights the need for collective environmental and social action in the coffee sector in East Africa. Building on GCP’s pre-competitive approach to act on identified and prioritized issues at coffee origins that critically affect coffee farmers, P4F provided GCP with funding to leverage the GCP Country Platforms to embed regenerative agroforestry practices into the coffee value chain, strengthen forest protection, and enhance the relevant governance structures at the national and regional levels.

Leveraging knowledge through collaboration in East Africa

Although international demand for coffee increases by around 2% per year, most smallholder coffee farmers are still unable to earn adequate income. Examples from Kenya and Uganda show that coffee production is far below its potential due to farmers’ lack of knowledge of good agricultural practices, high input costs, a labour-intensive production system, and inadequate funding for coffee research and government extension services, such as localised training. Despite this, coffee production is expanding, but, this expansion is threatening forest resources that are crucial to farmers’ long-term prosperity. Agroforestry is one way to mitigate this challenge, while enhancing coffee resilience and farmer livelihoods.

“Agroforestry concurrently addresses two of the main issues for coffee farmers. One is climate change – Robusta and Arabica coffee are very susceptible to rising temperatures, the increase in climate shocks from droughts to flooding, heat waves, etc. At the same time, agroforestry helps farmers increase their on-farm income through diversification and being able to then sell additional agricultural products that they grow on the same plot of land,” says Lauren Weiss, GCP Program Manager Countries and Partnerships.

Get in touch with the team about this work:

Lauren Weiss

Senior Manager Countries and Partnershipsemail me