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Diversifying Central American Coffee Agroforestry Systems via Revenue of Shade Trees

Vaast P., Martinez M., Boulay A., Dzib Castillo B., Harmand J.M.. 2015. In : Ruf François (ed.), Schroth Götz (ed.). Economics and ecology of diversification: the case of tropical tree crops. Dordrecht : Springer, Ed. Quae, p. 271-281.

One of the strategies farmers can adopt to reduce their vulnerability to coffee price volatility while preserving natural resources is to conquer new markets and produce eco-certified products. Does any other economically viable strategy exist to increase the income of coffee farmers? The presence of shade trees contributes significantly to the economic sustainability of coffee farms in Central America, mainly through the diversification of revenues: either through governmental subsidies and/or through the sale of tree products. The production and the sale of timber or fuel wood are an almost inevitable choice for coffee farmers in Central American regions at low to medium altitudes, where coffee plants are usually heavily shaded to buffer unfavourable ecological conditions. In addition to a diversification of revenues, the presence of shade trees on coffee farms has a positive impact on coffee quality as well as beneficial environmental effects. Indeed, wood extraction from coffee plantations reduces the exploitation of forest reserves and tree fallows. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : revenu complémentaire; arbre à buts multiples; Économie rurale; variété; gestion des ressources naturelles; certification; structure agraire; arbre d'ombrage; coffea; agroforesterie; guatemala; costa rica; amérique centrale

Thématique : Systèmes et modes de culture; Foresterie - Considérations générales; Agro-industrie

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