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Drinking coffee for the climate

August 1, 2017

Coffee is king in Costa Rica. But production makes up a large part of the country's CO2 emissions. Now farmers are learning eco-friendly farming techniques so Costa Rica can reach its emission reduction goals.

Coffee plant with green beans, in the background stands a man in a blue shirt
Image: DW/Katja Döhne

Climate-friendly coffee farming in Costa Rica

Project goal: Reduce emissions in Costa Rica's coffee sector

Implementation: 6,000 coffee farmers and workers in around 50 coffee processing plants are being trained and supported in using climate-friendly farming and processing methods

Projektpartner: German development agency GIZ, International Climate Initiative (IKI), NAMA Café of Costa Rica, ICAFE, Costa Rica's environment and agriculture ministry

Project length: January 2016 to 2019

Project budget: 7 Millionen euros ($8.15 million)

A Costa Rican farmer looks proudly at his flourishing coffee plants and sifts through his farm's fertile soil. Don Oscar Chacòn, a third-generation coffee farmer, has been using climate-friendly growing methods on his farm for years. He's convinced of the benefits of going organic.

Now, German development agency GIZ is teaming up with with ICAFE and NAMA to teach 6,000 other farmers to do the same.

Coffee is Costa Rica's biggest export - but it's one of the country's biggest emitters of CO2. Effective use of fertilizer, water and shade plants by farmers should help Costa Rica reach its goal of being climate-neutral by 2021.

A film by Katja Döhne

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