GIS – a glimpse of the future of coffee

10 June, 2009 by (comments)

CIAT’s Laure Collet has addressed gourmet coffee producers from Latin America about ways to improve bean quality and prepare for the challenge of climate change.

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The presentation in Cali, Colombia, was part of the week-long 1st Annual Extraordinary Coffee Workshop, hosted by US coffee roaster and retailer Intelligentsia. It has brought together Direct Trade coffee growers from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala and Colombia to help improve quality coffee production.

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“We know that coffee quality is influenced by three things: environment, genetics and agronomy,” said Collet. “Growers have little influence over the first two, but they can change the way they manage their coffee crops to produce better beans.” Laure’s presentation covered some of the different options available to growers to improve coffee bean quality, including harvesting fruits from different tree canopy levels, and fruit thinning prior to harvest.

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Laure then used the results of CIAT’s sophisticated GIS modeling to show what lies ahead for the production of high quality coffee in Colombia and Central America. The models predict that the areas suitable for cultivation will spread westwards and ultimately shrink, meaning farmers need to work quickly to adapt.

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Participants will spend the rest of the workshop at Finca Santuario, a high-quality coffee farm near Popoyán in the Cauca Valley.

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Watch this space,

The CCC Team


Filed Under: Inside CIAT, Latin America and the Caribbean, Regions