Agrifood Economics


Coffee in crisis offers a lesson in resilience: evidence from Guatemala
Latin America and the Caribbean
FAO Agricultural Development Economics Working Paper 20-02
Serfilippi E., De Los Rios C. and d’Errico M.
Publication date

The idea that resilience plays a role in mitigating the effects of disaster and climate change is becoming widespread across the development community. As a result, efforts have been made to translate the concept of resilience into actionable metrics to better understand it. In this paper, we use panel micro-data from coffee farmers in Guatemala severely affected by a widespread attack of Hemileia Vastatrix (leaf rust). This covariate shock provides a unique opportunity to a) check if greater resilience capacity is associated with better reaction to exogenous shock; and b) explore the key drivers of response mechanisms. Ultimately, this paper looks at how resilience enhancing and agroecological interventions must be combined to reduce the negative effects of leaf rust.

Findings show a negative impact of the shock on households' well-being; the strategic role of resilience in mitigating those negative effects; and provide evidence on how an approach that enhances both absorptive and adaptive capacity, can be beneficial for coffee producers.