World Bank Impact Story: Sustainable Coffee Farming in Burundi

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In 2013, when the Government of Burundi expressed interest in shade-grown coffee, a World Bank Team reached out to the South-South Facility and TerrAfrica for funds to conduct a knowledge exchange between Colombia and Burundi. Colombia has a centuries-old tradition of growing coffee in the shade. Almost 40 percent of the country’s surface area is used for shade-coffee farming, which is more resilient to climate change as coffee plants are better protected from extreme weather, and which also reduces land degradation. Additionally, the plants providing shade (plantains, maize, others) offer alternative sources of income and food to farmers. In 2014, coffee experts from Colombia visited Burundi, and later a Burundian delegation learned first-hand about shade-grown coffee-production in Colombia. Additionally, they witnessed Colombia’s experience in eco and agritourism and saw how a biological corridor—trees that connect two forests to preserve the biodiversity of the region—was established and cared for.