By working with youth and coffee-farming families, Lutheran World Relief is helping communities become more resilient to shocks and stressors at the household level. These efforts include incorporating climate-smart agroecology and agroforestry practices on the farm, maintaining and improving farm diversification that will provide food and additional income for the family. By generating healthier growing conditions for coffee plants, Lutheran World Relief works to improve productivity, quality and prices.
To improve access to helpful information throughout the coffee sector, Lutheran World Relief co-funded the online platform The State of the Smallholder Coffee Farmer with Heifer International. The platform was constructed by the University of Vermont and Stats4SD. This pilot platform is an open access data resource designed to “drive more informed, inclusive, and democratic decision making across the [coffee] value chain.”
I am hopeful that through on-farm diversification, which improves soil, resilience to economic and environmental shocks, and livelihoods, coffee-farming families will finally achieve a living income. Living income is defined as “the net annual income required for a household in a particular place to afford a decent standard of living for all members of that household.” When farmer income reaches this level, farmers and their families will operate from a stronger financial position and will be able to invest in their farms and their futures, no longer needing the support of Lutheran World Relief or other INGOs. This is my dream.