IMPACT PROGRAM INDIA
The Climate Smart Coffee Consortium aims to reduce climate change, increase climate resilience, boost biodiversity and enhance the income of coffee farmers via Climate Smart Coffee Plantations in Kerala, India. The plantations combine circular (agro) forests, food processing and future-proof energy systems, creating carbon-neutral solutions for agriculture.
The need for action
In Kerala, India, the climate change has resulted in harsh weather conditions such as droughts, floods, landslides and extreme heat. This has enormous consequences for biodiversity, agricultural supply (and therefore the livelihoods of farmers), health, and economic activity.
Coffee plantations are highly sensitive to extreme weather and struggle to yield their usual output in these conditions. This adversely affects the farmers and the industry around them. It also disrupts the ecological balance of the ecosystem that exists around these plantations. Since carbon emissions are one of the main drivers of climate change, climate-resilient, carbon neutral and carbon negative solutions in agriculture are needed.
Benefits of the program
The Climate Smart Coffee Plantations use different processes for conservation, restoration and land management to increase carbon storage and prevent harmful emissions of greenhouse gas. In Kerala, this could result in less harsh and extreme weather conditions. Natural disasters that do occur will have a lower impact on health, safety, food production and overall economic activity. Utilizing agroforests and circular agriculture also results in biomass that can be processed into carbon-neutral energy.
The agroforestry method (rather than single-crop systems), in combination with milder weather conditions, ensures that more coffee is produced and thus enhances the farmers’ income. The agroforests also contain various marketable by-products such as timber, biomass and other crops. These systems also call for more advanced solutions in AgTech and food and energy production, creating more advanced and attractive new jobs in those fields. As the need arises, globally focused agrotech parks and campuses will be established in the state, leading to better education and opportunities for youth and women.
We undertake this endeavor through a Triple Helix+ collaboration between private and public parties from India and the Netherlands. Including companies, investors, knowledge institutes, NGOs and public organizations. The wide range of companies (ranging from small start-ups, farmer co-operations to large global companies) is supported by a wide range of knowledge development (from practical on the job training to state of the art scientific research) to make this program a success.