Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS) has joined a powerful community of climate change fighters in a network called the Cool Farm Alliance (CFA). HRNS officially became a member of the alliance in February 2021, and by doing so has joined forces with over 100 organizations in CFA’s mission to advance sustainable agriculture.

Through the CFA partnership, HRNS can also access all the features of the Cool Farm Tool which is an “online green-house gas, water, and biodiversity calculator.” This tool is enabling HRNS to come up with effective strategies to reduce the carbon footprint of the farmers in the coffee regions where HRNS works.

The Cool Farm Tool which can be accessed online

So far, HRNS’ M&E and agronomy experts have done a baseline assessment in seven countries to firstly establish the carbon footprint of representative coffee farmers, and secondly, identify potential mitigation strategies specific to that area. The first step in this process was the collection of data on how the farmers manage their farms. Thereafter, the Cool Farm Tool was used to translate the data into carbon equivalents. Based on that, the experts could model farm management options that would lead to a lower carbon footprint.

Initial mitigation strategies that were identified through the assessment include improved land management in terms of increased shade-tree planting and locally appropriate cover crops. In regions where arabica is wet-processed, improved wastewater management alternatives were also identified.

Young farmer from Uganda adopting shade-tree planting

Farmers from Honduras adopting cover crops

“Our assessment shows that producers in HRNS projects could reduce emissions by on average 1.7 tons CO2e per hectare. In future, we will use this analysis to find ways to combine sustainable land use, profitable farming and carbon mitigation and include that in our project work.” – Tobias Voigt, HRNS M&E Manager

 

Daniella Malin, CFA Deputy General Manager, says “We are delighted to welcome HRNS into the Cool Farm Alliance and are looking forward to our collaboration of bringing regenerative agriculture to the coffee industry. HRNS’ close collaboration with farmers is a great opportunity to bring the science of GHG quantification to the field. With HRNS we can work together to create a global sustainable agriculture system that builds soil carbon, helps to mitigate climate change and restore ecological balance.”

Joining the Cool Farm Alliance has offered great insights into the work HRNS is already doing and will enable us to further increase the climate resilience of coffee farming families, while reducing their carbon footprint. Knowledge exchange with fellow CFA members will also enable HRNS to incorporate additional climate-smart tools in our work and address more climate related challenges such as deforestation and the protection of watershed areas.

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