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Assessing Sustainability in Coffee Farming Systems in Colombia
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Kaffeodling i Colombia - en hållbarhetsanalys (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

This study investigated sustainability challenges and benefits for coffee farming with different amounts of shade management in Colombia. Data was collected from literature studies, quantitative soil analyses and interviews with farmers and other experts. The results show that shade management of coffee farms does increase ecological sustainability, but in general gives lower yields of coffee. However, shaded coffee systems have the potential of increasing economic resilience for farmers by providing diversified income possibilities. The low and fluctuating coffee price of the global market has shown to be a major challenge of sustainability for Colombian small scale coffee farms. In addition a participatory sustainability assessment of soil quality and crop health was conducted with four farmers. The results from these assessments were compared with results from quantitative analyses of soil compaction, microbiological respiration rate and organic matter content in order to evaluate the analytical reliability of the assessment. The results of the participatory assessment were shown to correlate quite well to the quantitative soil analyses. When participatory methodology was evaluated from experiences in field and literature, it was found to be an important approach in facilitating sustainability learning in local contexts.

Abstract [es]

En esta investigación se examinaron los retos y beneficios de la sostenibilidad en la producción del cultivo de café con diferentes niveles de sombra en Colombia. Los datos se colectaron de estudios de literatura, análisis de suelo y entrevistas con agricultores y expertos en el tema. Los resultados indican que el manejo con sombra incrementa la sostenibilidad ecologica de las fincas cafeteras, y esto, tiene la posibilidad de incrementar la resiliencia económica para los agricultores al ofrecer oportunidades para una producción diversificada de ingresos. El precio bajo y fluctuante del café en el mercado mundial ha demostrado ser un importante reto para la sostenibilidad de las fincas de los campesinos colombianos. Además, se realizó una evaluación de la sostenibilidad participativa de la calidad del suelo y la salud de los cultivos con cuatro agricultores. Los resultados de esta evaluación se compararon con los resultados de análisis cuantitativos: de la compactación del suelo, la tasa de respiración microbiológica y contenido de materia orgánica, con el fin de evaluar la fiabilidad analítica de la evaluación participativa. Se demostró que los resultados de la evaluación participativa tienen una estrecha relación con el análisis cuantitativo del suelo. Cuando la metodología participativa se evaluó a partir de las experiencias propias en el campo y la literatura, se encontró que puede ser un enfoque importante para facilitar el aprendizaje de sostenibilidad para los contextos locales.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keyword [en]
Shade Coffee, Sustainability, Agroforestry, Agroecology, Participatory Research
Keyword [es]
Café de sombra, Manejo Sostenible, Agroforestría, Agroecología, metodología participativa
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-45478OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-45478DiVA: diva2:844600
Subject / course
Environmental Science
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2015-08-07 Created: 2015-08-06 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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