A study of coffee farmer economics by the Global Coffee Platform (GCP) and TechnoServe has revealed ‘significant opportunities’ to increase farmer incomes.
In a statement, the GCP said the study of the coffee sector in 11 countries benchmarked and identified opportunities for potential benefits to coffee farmers from improved farm profitability and increased supply chain efficiency.
Among the key findings were that yields could be increased by 10 per cent (in Vietnam) to 100 per cent (in Peru) over the next five years by improving agronomy practices, farm rehabilitation and input optimization. The study also found that achieving these yield increases across all 11 countries would add 2.5 million tonnes to annual production by 2027 and generate US$2 billion additional farmer income annually at current price levels.
Other findings include the fact that yield improvements are the most significant way to improve farmer incomes; and that opportunities for yield improvements are higher in countries with relatively larger farms (such as Ethiopia, Indonesia and Vietnam) than in countries with relatively smaller farms (such as in Kenya and Uganda).
The study also found that Arabica farmers at higher altitudes could increase their incomes by improving the quality of the coffee that they grow. The opportunities to do so were greatest in Ethiopia and Indonesia. Achieving quality improvements across six countries in the study would generate US$200 million of additional farmer income annually.
Changes to trading systems are required to incentivize quality improvements in some origins, such as Indonesia, Honduras, Peru, and some farmers require access to central wet mills to improve quality. This is the case in Ethiopia and Tanzania.
Even though women undertake much of the labour in coffee farming, they only receive 5 per cent of extension services (FAO). When women have increased control over income, it is more likely to be spent on children’s health, nutrition and education.
“To increase the likelihood that coffee income will benefit the whole family, we need to increase women’s influence over coffee expenditure decisions by training men and women in coffer marketing and financial literacy,” the GCP said.
The Global Executive Summary and individual country findings can be found here.