Colombia is a country with a tropical climate, which means that rainfall is expected to occur frequently. But this year Colombia has experienced more rain than usual. This have had some pretty devastating effects on specific areas. Mudslides and flash floods have not only displaced people and damaged property, but have also cost lives.
Of course, this also effect the coffee producing community. In Huila the harvest has been very delayed due to the immense precipitation. Usually the farmers would be picking cherries from around mid-May and finishing up around August, but this year the picking has only just begun, and they expect it to continue until October.
Besides a delay in the harvest a lot of the farmers have experienced damage to their property and infrastructure. Edilfonso Yara lost around 200 coffee trees to a mudslide and all the roads the farmers use for transportation have seriously deteriorated. José Ignacio Pardo watched a massive mudslide occur on a mountain side across from his farm. He said: “A piece of the mountain disappeared in front of me”.
Last year the farmers had issues with drought, and this year it’s too much rain. The weather has always been unpredictable, but all the coffee people we have talked to during our trip this year, have expressed concerns about the rapidly changing climate conditions we are experiencing at the moment. It has become more and more difficult to take the necessary precautionary steps to ensure a good harvest, which is something we should all be concerned about.