Diversification in coffee farming
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Worldwide, more than 125 million people are engaged in coffee farming and consider it the main source of income. However, coffee is very sensitive to the environment and its price is also susceptible to fluctuations by market conditions or other political factors. This affects the income of farmers and producers. Many experts believe that diversification in coffee farming could be the solution to this problem. Let’s explore this topic with 43 Factory Coffee Roaster!
What is diversification in coffee farming?
Usually, diversification is understood as the act of producing many types of products, investing in many types of securities, selling many different types of goods, etc. to hedge against risks or economic downturns.
In coffee farming, diversification means increasing the income of the coffee farm with other products. When coffee is no longer the only source of income, farmers will be able to reduce the risk of crop failure, and falling prices, and have additional income through other products, thereby also helping the coffee industry to be more stable.
Methods of diversification in coffee cultivation
In fact, there are many forms and methods of diversifying coffee farming. Farmers will have to rely on the location, farm size, growing area conditions, and consumer needs to choose the most suitable method. Such is the case of Carlos of La Palma y El Tucan Coffee Growers in Colombia. He researched the consumer behavior of the surrounding community then decided to grow red beans, corn, squash, marrow, pumpkins, bell peppers, avocados, bananas and some good woods. As a result, in three years, he made an additional $8,000 from plants other than coffee. In addition, thanks to intercropping, he also noticed that plant diseases such as coffee rust were reduced significantly.
Different from diversification by market research, Ben Weiner of Gold Mountain Coffee Growers has taken a different approach. He founded a “living coffee museum”. In here will be different coffee seeds. Some types of coffee will do better at higher altitudes, while others will be more resistant to diseases like coffee rust. By understanding the characteristics of the cultivar, Gold Mountain and its partners can choose to diversify the coffee they grow to suit the farm environment. When living in the right environment, coffee trees will grow stronger and more productive, thereby helping farmers to attract more investment.
Currently, many farmers are experimenting and creating many methods to diversify farming to improve product quality and increase income. A number of organizations and state agencies in coffee-growing countries are also advocating diversification programs. For example, the National Federation of Coffee Growers in Colombia is promoting the intercropping of coffee and corn.
The importance of sustainable diversification in coffee farming
Sustainable diversification in coffee farming is one of the key strategies to secure the future of the entire coffee industry. In, farmers not only grow coffee but also grow other crops such as fruit trees, food crops, medicinal plants or trees. This has many benefits for farmers, the environment and stabilizing the industry.
For farmers, sustainable diversification helps them reduce risks from disease, market prices or natural disasters. Farmers can increase income from different sources, reduce production costs and improve quality of life. Widespread coverage of plants on the farm also helps farmers make better use of resources such as soil, water, light and biomass. In addition, it also helps the farm increase adaptability to climate change, significantly reducing the impact of climate change on coffee production.
For the environment, sustainable diversification contributes to reducing pollution, maintaining ecological functions and carbon sequestration, preventing soil erosion, and improving soil fertility and drainage. Besides, it also protects plants from natural diseases. By growing a variety of crops (intercropping), the farm can be protected by physical barriers that help prevent the spread of diseases. This also promotes biodiversity, as some other crops release additional by-products for the growth of other crops.
Not only that, diversification is important to the success of the coffee trade. Thanks to ecological balance and financial stability for producers, farms can maintain and enhance the yield, quality and value of coffee. It also facilitates forms of cooperation, linkage and sharing of experiences among stakeholders in the value chain.
Thus, sustainable diversification in coffee farming is a key factor to ensure the future of the coffee industry as a whole. Farmers, managers, scientists and civil society organizations need to cooperate and support each other to implement and disseminate this strategy. As a consumer, let’s support by using sustainable coffee products such as XLIII Coffee – A specialty coffee supplier developed from the forerunner 43 Factory Coffee Roaster!