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  • Writer's pictureDominique Lemire

Climate Change and its Implications for Coffee Production in Peru

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

Climate change has emerged as a significant challenge for coffee growers, disrupting the delicate balance required for optimal coffee cultivation. The rising temperatures, erratic rainfall patterns, and increased frequency of extreme weather events have all cast a shadow over the future of coffee production. The coffee production areas located in the altitudinal range of 800 to 1200 m.a.s.l in Peru are not as suitable for rainfed coffee growing as they use to be. 10 years ago, the same areas would have shown minimal constraints.

The lack of rain causes a new rarity for natural water sources. Normally, natural springs are used as temporary irrigation in times of drought. Although, most of the sources have decreased to a minimum flow or are on the point of extinction. With this problem, some crops face water stress which leads to decreased productivity.

Sun rays piercing true de leaves of a Peruvian forest

Peru, with its diverse microclimates, is home to numerous unique coffee varieties. However, climate change poses a threat to this diversity. Shifts in temperature and precipitation patterns alter the microclimates that favor specific coffee varieties, making it challenging for producers to maintain the desired characteristics of their beans.

The increase in temperature brings a greater presence of diseases for the coffee plants, which is also a factor for decreased productivity and increase production costs.

As a consequence of all the factors mentioned above, there is a displacement of agricultural coffee frontiers. Some producers in these areas migrate to the highlands and exert pressure or deforestation on the forests of these higher altitudes of cultivation.

Despite the challenges, Peru has displayed resilience and are actively seeking solutions to avoid migrating coffee crops and reduce deforestation. Ecotierra is part of this solution. Through its investment projects at origins, it promotes the strengthening of agroforestry systems.

With our help, coffee producers are diversifying their crops through clonal propagation. As a result, producers are introducing coffee varieties tolerant to extreme weather conditions of the 800 and 1200 m.a.s.l zones. In addition, the introduction of forest species that require little water and provide nutrients to the soil is becoming a common practice. With the optimization of agroforestry systems, producers are encouraged to diversify their activities by introducing shade trees, intercropping with other suitable crops, or exploring alternative cash crops. This approach enhances biodiversity and provides additional income streams while desisting producers from migrating their coffee culture to the highlands.

Comparison between two coffee agriculture plot

Climate change poses a formidable challenge to coffee production in Colombia, Peru, and beyond. By raising awareness, supporting sustainable practices, and making conscious choices, we can contribute to the resilience of the coffee industry. ElevaFinca is here to help elevate your coffee sourcing. We have professional teams on the ground which work tirelessly to make sure risks are strongly reduced for our clients to acquire quality products. Get in touch!

1Multiplication of genetically identical copies of a cultivar by asexual reproduction called “clonal propagation,” and a plant population derived from a single individual by asexual reproduction constitutes a clone are discussed in this chapter.

Information from Café Selva Norte’s Financial Support Officer Dagner Montalvan Garcia. CSN is Ecotierra’s first investment project in Peru which was funded in 2019.

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