Climate change adaptation tools for smallholder coffee farmers

The initiative for coffee and climate has developed a wide range of tools (sensu lato, any physical method, analytical or thought tool that could be of benefit to farmers, extensionists, decision-makers) to assist coffee farmers adapt to climate change.

To date more than 30 have been identified. These can be categorized as:

  • >  Analysing tools (e.g. simulation, risk and cost benefit analysis)
  • >  Adaptation tools for farms (e.g. soil stabilization and protection)
  • Adaptation tools at the community, landscape, watershed level
  • Enabling tools (credits, insurance)
  • Climate change database (Distribution & zoning maps, Risk maps, country reports Scientific studies)

Some of these tools have been tried out in the field in programmes of adaptive research with farmers; tools are selected according to an initial risk assessment procedure. We have been surprised by the range of pressing problems facing farmers, so to date tools tested are ones to help farmers cope with short term difficulties.

It became clear that a framework tool is essential to guide the development of a fieldwork programme.
Important features of the framework are that it is:

  •  Cyclical and iterative: adaptation is not a one-off activity, but should become part of standard practice for coffee institutes and support agencies, including cooperatives.
  •  Pragmatic and flexible: if progress stalls, it encourages going back to a previous stage for a re-think
  •  Adaptable: quantitative data is preferred but it also allows for and supplies tools for qualitative and semi-quantitative approaches.


Dr Baker has 30+ years, experience in research, training and consultancy in the broad area of science for development with particular experience in coffee, including sustainable production, farmer participatory approaches, biodiversity, coffee quality, climate change and smallholder farmer issues. He has developed, managed and led international projects for major donors, working in Mexico, Colombia and other countries. He has a proven record of peer-reviewed research, with over 70 research articles, reviews and books produced.

Find out more

Conference session: 
Conference strand: