New app assesses vulnerability of coffee plantations in Central America to climate change to increase adaptive capacity
Managua, 14 June 2021, (IICA). Within the framework of the Central American Program for Integrated Coffee Rust Management (PROCAGICA), implemented in the region by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the European Union (UE), a mobile app was developed to help determine the vulnerability of coffee farms and territories to climate change.
The tool provides simple recommendations to implement actions aimed at increasing the adaptive capacity and resilience of producers. Called the Vulnerability Tool, it is currently in the final validation phase with ally organizations, including the Tropical Agriculture Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) and the National University of Engineering (UNI) of Nicaragua.
These partners were in charge of designing and consolidating the app to allow Nicaraguan producers and promoters to incorporate the information simply and from a real-life perspective.
Rodolfo Munguía Hernández, a professor for over 30 years at the National Agrarian University (UNA), expressed that the app adds value by managing the information collected by producers, specifically in terms of productivity and climate variability.
“This tool could be used by town halls to help characterize their municipality as a whole and generate concrete actions to help guide decision-making”, stated the academic.
The methodology used by the app was developed by CATIE and consists of 16 variables or criteria. Factors can be identified at the farm level that affect the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of that specific plot. This generates a record, which can be updated to see how implementation of the recommendations over a six-month period affects the variable that showed the greatest risk.
An internet connection is required to record and send the diagnosis, but no connection is required to complete the criteria or sign in to the application.
The tool is intended to generate key information for different local and national actors, including universities, research centers, and development programs, among others, since characterizing the territory as a whole will help design and implement adaptation plans to climate change.
Moreover, work can be undertaken directly with producers to improve their production systems and ensure that they are more resilient.
Implemented initially in Nicaragua, the Vulnerability Tool is also intended to strengthen training and technical assistance within the local environment. The methodology can be used to diagnose a single farm, a group of farms or a territory as a whole.
Research, innovation, and education are key pillars of a comprehensive intervention in the coffee systems of Central America, the end goal of the program sponsored by the UE and implemented by IICA.
Since 2016, PROCAGICA has worked in collaboration with regional strategic partners and coffee organizations in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador to supplement national and regional efforts aimed at improving the preparation, response capacity, and resilience of small producers and their families.
Institutional Communication Division.