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Coffee farmers confront climate change by converting to cocoa

News from Nicaragua | Tuesday, 14 February 2017 |

Farmers in Nicaragua’s highlands are confronting climate change so they can retain their way of life. Climate change provoked temperature rises have made it difficult for coffee farmers to produce good harvests, but converting to cocoa means they can continue to work the land.

Fatima Ismael, the manager  of SOPPEXCCA, a coffee co-op in north Nicaragua, describes the changes: “Cocoa thrives in warmer temperature than coffee, so with financial and technical support some of our members are converting to cocoa production. We’re making and selling chocolate for the internal market and with global demand for cocoa predicted to increase by 30% in the next decade, we hope to start exporting in the next two to three years”.

Ana Maria Gonzalez Navaez, a coffee and cocoa farmer adds: ”My co-op has been affected by the drought and increase in coffee diseases. Families were really suffering, so with SOPPPEXCCA’s help we started producing cacao. It’s not a difficult crop and produces two harvests a year.

Fatima explains how SOPPEXCCA has installed mini weather stations where rain gauges, thermometers and hygrometers monitor changes in the weather.