Manipi cooperative, assisted by Ritma Green is in the final stage to obtain its social forestry permit. Completing a series of processes like document and field verifications, the coffee cooperative is finally waiting for the final result. Social forestry is a national program to enable local communities nearby to manage local forests legally for a certain duration. Part of the land reform initiative implemented by the Ministry of Forestry and Environment, the program is aimed to promote economic equality with three pillars – land, livelihoods improvement opportunity, and human resources. The following are some advantages of social forestry:
- Decreases pressure on the natural forest by increasing the production of non-timber products.
- Cover barren lands
- Employment generation in rural areas
- Forest restoration and improve the ecological balance
- Help in research
If granted the social forestry permit, the Manipi cooperative will manage around 1,500 forest land for 10 years with possible extension. Not only coffee planting, but the cooperative is also planning eco-tourism development in the area. Ritma Green always encourages and assists its partner SMEs to obtain social forestry permits as it enables coffee farmers to legally apply the agroforestry model. Agroforestry in coffee is a climate change adaptation and mitigation practice. For centuries, farmers have depended on agroforestry to help keep their farms financially profitable, protect their environment, and support their families. It’s been especially valuable for coffee farmers, who often use it to help produce specialty coffee. Agroforestry offers a myriad of tangible and intangible benefits for the environment. Most agroforestry systems provide a natural habitat for a wide range of fauna and flora, helping to protect and increase local biodiversity. In addition to the above, it helps to improve the physical and chemical properties of soil, by making it rich in nutrients and fertile. It also lowers soil and air temperatures, helping to provide a buffer against extreme temperature fluctuations. With climate change bringing with it unexpected
excessive rainfall and heavy winds, agroforestry helps to prevent soil erosion and decreases the need for fertilizer use. While this system works towards protecting and preserving arable land for the future, it has other, more immediate benefits. Coffee production takes several years to produce a harvest, with only a single harvest possible a year. With agroforestry, producers can diversify into alternative crops (like nuts and spices) that can be harvested all year long and sometimes fetch a better market price (Remy Rodríguez Chardon, Perfect Daily Grind)