Adaptation for Smallholders to Climate Change


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Nicaragua Nicaragua Nicaragua Nicaragua
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How Nicaraguan coffee farmers adapt to climate change – the PRODECOOP case study:

In Nicaragua the yearly and monthly rainfall will progressively decrease and the yearly and monthly minimum and maximum temperatures will progressively increase by 2020 and by 2050. The overall climate will become more seasonal in terms of variation throughout the year in temperature with temperatures in specific municipalities increasing by about 1.0°C by 2020 and by about 2.3°C by 2050. In contrast, seasonality of the climate will not change in precipitation with the maximum number of cumulative dry month staying constant at 6 months. Precipitation for specific municipalities will decrease 70 to 100 mm by 2020, and 100 to 130 mm by 2050. Within the AdapCC project the scientific institute CIAT (International Centre for Tropical Agriculture) were contracted to forecast the future suitability of current coffee growing areas in Nicaragua and other pilot regions in Mexico and Peru. For all regions a move of areas suitable for coffee production to higher altitudes and an overall loss of the current areas as well as a loss of quality is predicted. Nicaraguan coffee production is predicted to be among the most hit. The single reports can be downloaded from the results page.

Please download the complete description of the Nicaraguan Case Study here (PDF-Document, 1.1 MB).

Between March and May 2008 AdapCC realised the process of Risk and Opportunity Analysis (ROA) together with the pilot group PRODECOOP. Representatives from Cafédirect's second Nicaraguan coffee partner organisation CECOCAFEN were also involved. The participatory workshops in Palacaguina found out that coffee farmers are suffering from the following risks threatening their yields and livelihood:

Problem / Risk Root Causes Solution
1 Drought
  • Deforestation
  • Move of production area to higher altitudes
  • Burning practices
  • Lack of water storage capacities
  • Enforcement of existing laws that ban deforestation and burning practices and conserve protected areas
  • Reforestation with native tree species
  • Environmental education
  • Install fire brigades
  • Install irrigation ditches
2 Landslides and Erosion
  • Unstable plantations lying at steep slopes
  • Lack of soil and erosion control measures
  • Increasing extreme weather events like hurricane Mitch
  • Terracing and construction of living and dead barriers
3 Pests and diseases
  • Use of chemical pesticides and poor management practices
  • Increasing and decreasing temperatures
  • Prolonged rainfall periods
  • Analysing pest and diseases and identifying adequate management practices, natural pest control

Based on the identified risks that endanger the coffee production and the there out resulting demands PROODECOOP developed an action plan to implement concrete measures that reduce the risks and adapt to the production system. The concrete working axes were the following:

  1. Realize a training process for 24 trainees of CAFENICA members about climate change and about adaptation measures
  2. Establish a small meteorological station and monitor rainfall and temperature
  3. Validate techniques and methodology of collective work for the fabrication of agricultural organic input
  4. Validate the technical implementation that allow a more efficient management and use of water (drainage, storage and micro irrigation in coffee plantations)
  5. Formulate a negotiation proposal for all the members of CAFENICA about the capture of carbon and the ambient services that the cooperatives do
  6. Develop a systematisation process of the experiences which is transferable to a bigger number of coffee producers

Component Facts and Figures Benefits
1 Capacity Building at CAFENICA level
  • AdapCC one-week training seminar held at Matagalpa in March 2009
  • 21 trainers trained from pilot regions in Peru, Mexico, Nicaragua and at CAFENICA level
  • Training manual for adaptation to climate change in Latin American small-scale coffee sector elaborated
The 21 trained technical staff members of the coffee organisations are now able to develop trainings at their organisations' level. At CEPICAFE and Más Café level further local trainings were designed and implemented. Further multiplying coffee organisation will be able to train more trainers.
2 Meteorological station
  • 1 meteorological station (pluviometer, thermometer and ph-value meter) installed at Miguel angel Ortéz
  • coffee farmer family trained in monitoring the data
  • data from 2009 collected
The data need to be analysed and use as basis for strategic planning.
3 Fabrication of agriculture organic input
  • 2 trainings at Miguel angel Ortéz cooperative level to produce Bocashi
  • 100 sacks of Bocashi produced
  • training on different organic fertilizer production held
  • working groups formed to produce organic fertilizer and implement fertilization plan
By applying organic fertilizer instead of chemical ones the soil conditions can be improved and pest attacks can be naturally controlled.
4 Efficient management and use of water
  • technical improvement and installation of pump for community fountain
  • installation of rainwater reservoirs
  • construction of 4,800 m irrigation ditches
The Miguel angel Ortéz community now has water for the communal wet mill available, the nursery and for household use of all member families.
Irrigation ditches can prevent landslides.
5 Carbon capturing
  • still undone
still undone
6 Systematisation process
  • some experiences regarding production of organic fertilizer, soil and water management documented
Good practices are available for further multiplication.