Climate Change Adaptation Takes Root in Peru

Magda Reza, at left, is one of 10 trained promoters working to educate other farmers in climate change adaptation

Magda represented her cooperative during a visit to Germany to share results of the project and accept Lidl's support for Phase II

Youth promoters gathered at the kickoff of Phase II in Pangoa, Peru

29 October 2013

Climate change is a big risk for small farmers around the world and Peruvian coffee producers are no different. Lower rainfall, higher temperatures, and the rampant spread of disease are becoming the norm rather than the exception.

This year, in particular, has proved challenging as coffee farms throughout Latin America have been devastated by the spread of coffee leaf rust known as “La Roya”. Farmers are looking for technical and financial support to be better prepared to tackle climate change along with all the new challenges it presents.

Thanks to the support of Lidl, a German-based chain of grocery stores, farmer members at the Sonomoro Cooperative in Pangoa, Peru, are receiving training to cope with the effects of climate change. In the first phase of this program (read more on Phase I here), 10 lead farmers – or promoters – were trained by the organization Twin Trading conduct risk and opportunity assessments in their communities. A demonstration farm was established where farmers can learn about best practices, including shade and weed management, composting, treatment of waste water and more (watch a film documenting Phase 1 here).

“For me, it’s been very important this work with Fairtrade on climate change and environment because we learn to take care of our environment and improve our farming techniques,” said Magda, cooperative member and one of the promoters to go through the program.

These promoters are now training farmers in the region in best practices to create more resilient and sustainable farms. A contest during the first phase of the program recognized the three best farmers implementing adaptation measures.

Along with the need for improved farm management, the promoters identified reforestation as one of the priorities for the region. The search for farm land and timber has left many of the hills in the region barren, exposed to severe erosion, heightening the impacts of unpredictable storms. Lidl is now supporting a second phase of the project to provide additional training on climate change adaptation and support reforestation efforts.

During the week of September 16th, Lidl held a Fairtrade Week campaign in Germany offering to plant one tree for every package of FAIRGLOBE Bio Café del Mundo – with a minimum of 40,000 native trees and more depending on coffee sales – to build awareness of the impacts of climate change.

The new phase of training and reforestation will benefit Sonomoro and another nearby Fairtrade cooperative, CA Sangareni. The promoters at Sonomoro will help train new promoters from both cooperatives who will then train an additional 100 farmers. Members from the Youth Committees at both cooperatives will work with local foresters and another technician to provide and plant trees. Many of the youth are concerned about what is happening to their family farms and are dedicated to push for more sustainable production practices.

To learn more about this project, contact Giannina Cadena at: g.cadena@fairtrade.net

 
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