No 25

Agro-Climatic Platform Helps Monitor Effects of El Niño on Colombian Coffee Farming

February, 2016

Sustainability that Matters

Agro-Climatic Platform Helps Monitor Effects of El Niño on Colombian Coffee Farming

In the current situation of the El Niño event, this platform, through the monthly publication of agro-meteorological bulletins, has been of great help to monitor its impact on Colombian coffee farming.


The Coffee Agro-Climatic Platform, developed by Cenicafé (the FNC’s research and development arm), enables to know, in nearly real time, the climatic variables monitored by automatic weather stations distributed in Colombia’s coffee regions, besides providing historical and statistical information from the network of conventional stations.

It is a basic tool of support for farmers, extensionists and researchers in decision-making related to management of coffee crops based on each region’s meteorological and geographical conditions.

In the current situation of the El Niño event, this platform, through monthly publication of agro-meteorological bulletins, has been of great help to monitor its impacts on Colombian coffee farming, and for coffee growers in particular to follow some recommendations to deal with it.

Bulletin No. 5, for example, explains how El Niño has impacted the national territory at the beginning of this year, including coffee areas, with important water deficits especially in the Pacific and Andean regions.

“Coffee regions will face a dry season more pronounced than normal. (…) For January, it is highly probable that very deficient rainfall occurs in extensive coffee areas. In the Caribbean and Andean regions, a condition of water deficit especially prevails in the departments of Norte de Santander, Cundinamarca, southern Antioquia, Tolima, Huila, Valle’s mountains, Cauca and Nariño,” the bulletin reads.

Some specific recommendations given by the bulletin are to postpone new coffee planting, not to change conditions of permanent or temporary shade to protect coffee crops and to conserve moisture in the ground through weeds for developing coffee plantations.

This monitoring tool, together with a sample measuring in the field carried out by the Extension Service in coffee regions, will enable to more accurately determine the impacts of El Niño on the coffee harvest. The first measures to mitigate these impacts have already been taken for the benefit of producers and their families.

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