Coffee farmers in Peru suffered heavy losses in 2013 when 40% of the country’s coffee plantations were adversely affected by coffee leaf rust. The disease, which scientists blamed on climate change, damaged leaves and slowed coffee cherry growth, resulting in smaller, lower quality yields.
The risks posed by climate change are not limited to coffee. In developing countries, nearly two thirds of the extremely poor earn a living from agriculture. They are on the frontline in the fight against climate change, yet they often lack the finance and knowledge to withstand its effects. This can prove devastating to their livelihoods.
So what can be done to address this poverty imbalance and empower smallholder farmers? This was the question posed at a recent Guardian Sustainable Business seminar, supported by social impact investor Oikocredit and chaired by broadcaster and Guardian journalist Lucy Siegle.