Agroforestry coffee growing systems provide important and numerous ecosystem services like biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration or important role for water cycle in catchment areas. It also provides more crop resilience to climate change, and we immediately think in mitigation of abiotic stresses like heatwaves or pronounced droughts but agroforestry can also protect coffee plantations from frost! That’s what happened at the beginning of this month of December in Northern Vietnam as shown in these pictures taken on an Arabica monitored experimental plot as part of the Breedcafs project ( https://www.breedcafs.eu/). In these pictures (Author: Philippe Vaast, CIRAD, UMR Eco&Sols) we can see that all the coffee trees grown in full sunlight have 100% of their leaves burned by the frost (leaves turned brown on the pictures) despite the attempts to reduce freezing impacts by burning rice husks while minor damage was observed on coffee trees grown Under Leucaena shade. With agroforestry, keep your coffee trees warm in winter and cool in summer!
Freezed coffee trees with burned leaves at the forefront in full sunlight versus still green coffee trees under Leucaena shade in the background.
A reverse picture with still green coffee trees under Leucaena shade at the forefront and freezed coffee trees with burned leaves in full sunlight in the background
Within the framework of Breedcafs Project founded by the EU, the gender smart cooperative project “Grupo Rural de Mujeres Viveristsas ” is a real women’s success story. This women’s nursery cooperative have been producing and selling more than 100 thousands of timber tree plantlets with a value of some US$ 15 thousands for the local coffee agroforestry cluster project. Species like Macacauba,Platymiscium (Coyote), Nicaraguan Rosewood, Dalbergia retusa (Granadillo), Honduran Mahogany, Swietenia macrophylla (Caoba del Atlántico) and Australian silver oak, Grevillea robusta are propagated in nursery tunnels from seeds of elite mother trees. After this first stage, it is planned financial autonomy will be reached in 2020.
Aske and Nerea took advantage of their stay in Montpellier to visit the IRD team and meet for the first time Cécile Abdallah