From awareness to action
Founded three years ago, Fairtrade’s Climate Academy in East Africa is an extensive program focused on making coffee farmers more resilient to changing weather conditions. This program started in two regions in Kenya, and it does 4 big things:
- Raises awareness on climate change and its causes: Dozens of sessions were organized to give farmers a comprehensive picture and a better grip on their business operations.
2. Encourages the adaptation of agricultural methods: The academy supports farmers adjusting their current agricultural practices towards more sustainable ones.
3. Highlight the importance of diversification: Each cooperative set up greenhouses to get familiar with the cultivation of various fruits and vegetables to avoid relying heavily on one commodity.
4. Emphasizes alternative energy sources: Support for day-to-day changes such as more energy efficient cooking appliances by using coffee briquettes, or having solar panels for the use for radio, mobile phone charging and light.
Fairtrade Africa developed the Climate Academy Guide with the support of Fairtrade Netherlands, the Dutch Postcode Lottery and the expert input of Coffee Research Institute
Impact in Machakos
The Climate Academy has had a tangible impact on the lives of coffee farmers in the Machakos, Kenya.
Around 15% of families have already started diversifying their incomes in Machakos, collectively they have already saved $160,000.
Farmers have 20% more shade trees. These help protect coffee plants from the rising heat.
1,300 clean cook stoves are now in use - including 300 that use briquettes made from coffee waste.
We have to be ahead of climate change. The rains don’t come as they did previously, sometimes they are short or higher so we have to mitigate according to the weather conditions”.Paul Ngei Musila, Musilili Farmers’ Cooperative Society manager
Sharing climate knowledge
Based on what we learned and experienced, Fairtrade co-created a guide applicable to coffee producers beyond Kenya. These key lessons and concrete tools can be used as an open resource for all coffee farmers on YouTube, translated into five languages to ensure widespread access throughout Fairtrade’s network of almost 2 million producers. Fairtrade is also loading the content to portable projectors to reach producers in remote regions.