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Use of coffee cultivation in the Panama Canal area to help cure the effects of deforestation and drought

Published: 2024-02-29 Author:
Last Updated: 2024/02/29, Recently, in the Kapila district of western Panama, an incentive program for coffee farmers to plant dozens of tree species near the Panama Canal has been launched to benefit key global waterways, Reuters reported. the recent severe drought on the Panama Canal has affected trade flows. And the drought continues.

Recently, in the Kapila district of western Panama, an incentive program for coffee farmers to plant dozens of tree species near the Panama Canal has been launched to benefit key global waterways, Reuters reported. the recent severe drought on the Panama Canal has affected trade flows. And the persistent drought seriously affected agricultural production, agriculture is an important industry of the Panamanian national economy, about 20% of the labor force is engaged in agricultural production, the country has an area of 1.71 million hectares of arable land, a total of 214000 farms. At present, the Panamanian government is taking measures to deal with the drought.

Earlier, according to the website of Fortune magazine, the Panama Canal suffered from a drought crisis, which will continue for several years. Under normal circumstances, the Panama canal handles about 3% of the world's maritime trade and 46% of containers from northeast Asia to the east coast of the United States. It is also Panama's largest source of income, generating $4.3 billion in 2022. At present, the canal can only carry a maximum of 24 ships a day, far lower than the previous capacity of 38 ships a day, and the situation is likely to continue to worsen in the future. At present, other countries are considering other voyages, but this will increase transportation costs and time, which also leads to the current high price of coffee.

So the plan, launched earlier, is a 15-year project aimed at mitigating years of accumulated environmental damage, including soil erosion and local river pollution, which led to a drop in the water level of the Panama Canal. At the same time, the plan allows farmers to expand their planting range and get higher prices for their robusta beans. According to the USDA, more than 80% of Panamanian coffee is Arabica coffee and the remaining 20% is robusta coffee. Robusta mainly grows in low elevations, but Arabica coffee is mainly exported, while Robusta is mostly used for self-sale.

So far, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has spent $32 million on the project. The program is also used to train coffee farmers to adopt more environmentally friendly methods and to help them obtain certification to provide a premium for coffee beans. According to a team of local coffee growers, the plan improves the economy of coffee farmers, helps the climate, and helps canals better cope with drought. Reforestation with coffee won't solve all the problems, but it will help.

According to statistics, about 1700 local farmers benefited from the initiative, and during the last coffee harvest, about 10600 bags (60 kg / bag) of robusta beans were harvested in the Kapila area of the western basin of the canal. Experts believe the project will help slow the destruction of surface water sources, which are vital to the operation of the canal.

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