Carbon and economic performance of coffee agroforestry systems in Costa Rica and Nicaragua
Andreas Noponen, Martin R.
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Coffee agroforestry systeMON (CAFS) sustain the livelihoods of many people globally at the same time as providing important ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration that help mitigate climate change. The carbon sequestration and socio-economic performance of a range of CAFS varying in composition and management were assessed in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Measurements and modelled estimates were made of (i) greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from coffee cultivation (the carbon footprint (CF)), (ii) carbon sequestration potential into above-ground biomass and soil organic stocks and (iii) socio-economic performance (productivity and profitability), and their trade-offs analysed. Evaluation of the C and socio-economic performance of coffee farMON in the regions around the two experimental sites showed that due to the huge variation amongst CAFS there is no single strategy for climate change mitigation that could successfully be applied across the range of farMON. Instead it will be necessary to carry out accurate and site-specific farm assessments to inform advice and decisions on system improvement tailored to the needs of individual farMON and environmental settings. The findings of this research suggest that there is a place in the C market for CAFS, however their design and management will determine the overall net benefits that can be achieved.