Production and storage

“Production and storage” has a focus on improving food security through sustainable intensification of crop production and reduction of post-harvest losses.

Crop production and post-harvest management are two important pillars that support food security because they can ensure a constant supply of raw materials. In view of increasing population pressure and limited resources, especially in Africa, there is a vital need for research and outreach activities on how to improve food security in the next decades combined with a more sustainable use of natural resources. Important factors that must be taken into account are the efficient use of water and fertilizers, adequate pest and disease management and ways to reduce post-harvest losses, amounting to 30-50% of food production losses globally. Therefore, a strong systems perspective on crop production is required that considers resource as well as consumer issues, such as the potential for changes in human diets or the reduction of waste and food losses.

This thematic area features contributions related to:

  • Quantifying and closing the yield and biomass gaps
  • Improving resource use efficiency (sustainable intensification)
  • Reducing post-harvest losses

Theme coordinator: Amit Kumar Srivastava

Christine B. Schmitt and Ulrike Grote. 2008. Wild coffee production in Ethiopia: the role of coffee certification for forest conservation. Berlin Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change (17-18 / 11/ 2008). Berlin, Germany.

The Ethiopian rainforests are internationally renowned for their high biodiversity and their wild coffee (Coffea arabica) populations, but are severely threatened by deforestation. The remaining rainforests are used for wild coffee production. This study quantifies wild coffee yields from local management systems without artificial inputs, and analyses the impact of wild coffee management on the natural forest vegetation. Subsequently, the role of coffee certification for forest conservation is evaluated. The results show that wild coffee yields from undisturbed forest with low management intensity are extremely small. Intensive management in semi-forest coffee systems removes 30 % of the canopy trees and most undergrowth vegetation. This stimulates wild coffee growth and almost triples coffee yields, while jeopardizing forest biodiversity. Premium prices for wild coffee through certification are seen as one possibility to halt the deforestation process by adding economic value to the natural coffee forests. Particular certification criteria for wild coffee, however, do not exist yet. This study reviews currently present coffee certification schemes under, e.g., Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Rainforest Alliance and Utz Kapeh, and explores to what extent they can promote sustainable use and conservation of the Ethiopian coffee forests.

Show details Posted by : Dr. Christine B. Schmitt