Colombia intends to lead coffee sustainability

September 29, 2023

CAF Executive President Sergio Díaz-Granados participated in the 10th International Caribbean Connections Seminar, where he stressed the importance of the coffee sector in building resilient and innovative societies, and in fulfilling the 2030 Agenda.

The Executive President of CAF—development bank of Latin America and the Caribbean—, Sergio Díaz-Granados, underscored the importance of the coffee sector in building resilient and innovative societies, and in fulfilling the 2030 Agenda, at the 10th International Caribbean Connections Seminar held in Santa Marta, Colombia. 

The high impact of the coffee sector in Colombia's Caribbean region is instrumental in mitigating the issues of inequalities due to lack of opportunities, mainly in rural areas, as it contributes to economic growth without neglecting sustainable production models. "One of our major concerns for Latin America and the Caribbean is the low productivity and weak economic growth in the region, and that is also linked with the coffee world, because there are constant discussions about productivity, about how to boost production per hectare or how to create better incomes," noted Díaz-Granados.

CAF's executive president identified a number of challenges in the industry related to the effects of climate change, for example, in relation to pollinators, e.g. bees, which are crucial for agricultural production from Mexico to Argentina. It is critical to recognize this natural capital in order to achieve an optimal adaptation to the climate crisis. CAF recently published the Economy and Development Report, an effort to find resilient actions and measures to these phenomena, based on a growth model in the region. CAF's coffee sustainability plans in Colombia are based on the following areas: (1) digital agriculture and climate services for the modernization of agricultural extension services; (2) genetic improvement, crop management techniques, and other technology options; and (3) business opportunities through innovative and inclusive systems.

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In Colombia, we worked with the Green Climate Fund, the Colombian Government, and the Tropical Agriculture Center in pilot production chains such as rice, which will now be used for coffee production, with a direct impact on food security through innovation in the cultivation of different crops. Artificial intelligence is one of the tools needed to understand agroclimate forecasts and take preventive measures to mitigate potential risks in food cultivation in various soils. Crop management with technological solutions also has an impact on curbing carbon emissions in the midst of production processes. This directly involves inclusive business models, with other modernized production chains.

CAF has advanced this project as a worldwide pilot, with the commitment to agricultural modernization, which is still in the formulation stage, with implementation scheduled for January 2024, to foster the development of LAC, launching the pilot in three countries, namely Brazil, Colombia, and Costa Rica.This edition of the international seminar was held with technical cooperation by CAF, from the Colombia Country Office, in an effort to promote and boost productivity in the regions, thanks to the conditions of the department of Magdalena, its geographical and climate qualities. Coffee production here has been regarded as the livelihood of more than 5,000 families, including farmer, indigenous, and Afro-descendant communities, in 4 municipalities, namely: Ciénaga, Santa Marta, Fundación and Aracataca.