Agroforestry helps coffee farmers to mitigate climate change impacts

In the implementation of PPI (Production, Protection, and Inclusion) Compacts in Vietnam, IDH is promoting interventions towards enabling coffee farmers to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Farmers in Lac Duong District have recently benefited from those interventions when facing an extreme weather event that threatened their livelihoods.

During 5 days in early February 2020, freezing fog caused a loss of 2.36 million USD for 907 households with an affected area of 520 hectares of coffee farms, according to the statistics from the People’s Committee of Lac Duong District. 294 out of 907 households with an area of 200 hectares are direct implementers of the compact.

Mr. Su Thanh Hoai, Chairman of Lac Duong District People’s Committee, said that farmers suffered big loss because the freezing fog came in the harvest time of coffee in the district, heavily affecting the income of households. “It was the biggest loss to coffee farmers since 2015. A segment of households lost their two-year-old coffee farms and they need to start over again.”

IDH took immediate actions within the framework of its PPI Compacts to flexibly support the district to cope with this sudden disaster. “To mitigate the loss, IDH, ACOM company and the public partner joined forces to guide coffee farmers to do pruning and cutting dead leaves and branches. Watering and fertilizing are also applied to enable coffee trees to recover,” said Mr. Do Thanh Chung, Program Field Coordinator of Landscape Program. “Various technical trainings were provided to coffee farmers with the resources from the PPI Compacts.”

“In the long term, such an extreme weather event can happen again. Hence, it requires a systematic preparedness and actions of both public and private sectors,” said Ms. Tran Quynh Chi, Senior Program Manager.

IDH is working with the European Forest Institute (EFI) to pilot a participatory land-use planning tool, helping to identify which area is suitable for which crops and which measures are needed to mitigate and adapt to climate change. One of the critical measures coming out from this exercise is to map out where the agroforestry systems should be developed in Lac Duong District to help farmers and companies protect coffee and other crops from such extreme weather events. Initially, agroforestry will be applied in the mini-landscape areas.

“We are working with the local partners and farmers to select the right types of trees for shading and windbreaking,” said Mr. Chung. “At this time, persimmon tree is selected. And, we are selecting tree that can also help to increase forest coverage and protect coffee tree.”

Apart from that, as a part of Inclusion in the PPI Compact, partners here have worked with stakeholders to design interventions to diversify sources of income for local farmers.

Mr. Chung underlines: “IDH and the public sector convened LADOPHAR to support local farmers to intercrop artichoke in the mini-landscape areas. The company provides seedlings and is committed to procure all products for farmers. Artichoke can generate its first income after reaching three months old and provide a value of 170 thousand USD per crop a year.”

Ms. Chi underlines: “All interventions of PPI Compacts are interrelated toward sustainable coffee-based landscape to reach green growth objectives of the locality. Climate change adaptation and mitigation measures are an unavoidable part of the whole system of PPI interventions.”