Through participatory research, Bioversity International is working to understand coffee farmers' needs, constraints and opportunities related to climate change adaptation.

In Central America, when there is a strong heat with intense rainfall afterwards, diseases like rust increase and affect the coffee, literally drying out the bean and critically reducing the yields of smallholder farmers.

Adaptation measures are therefore needed to build resilience and ensure food security in these rural areas and thus several countries have prioritized coffee landscapes as particularly important elements within their national adaptation strategies.

Bioversity International, along with several partners and the support from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), is working with smallholder coffee farmers in Central America to help them respond and adapt to climate change, in a project called 'Participatory planning and investment in climate-smart agriculture in Central American coffee landscapes.'

In Guatemala, Bioversity works with the cooperative ASOABAGRI, which supports 1200 organic coffee growers in Huehuetenango. In October 2015, they carried out vulnerability workshops with several coffee grower communities in this area.

ASOBAGRI provided and recommended them a product to combat coffee rust called "Adiós Roya", which is affordable and very effective. Also, the farmers receive training and talks on how to renew coffee and try new seeds. They now plant new varieties, such as Villalobo, Catimor and Sachimor, that are more resistant to rust. 

See some testimonials from smallholder producers participating in the project:

José Luis Urrea is Communications Officer for CCAFS Latin America.

This news update is part of the project 'Participatory planning and investment in climate-smart agriculture in Central American coffee landscapes' led by Maarten van Zonneveld, from Bioversity International. Contact: m.vanzonneveld[at]

Partners of the project: Hivos, the University of Vermont, CEDECO and the World Agroforestry Centre.