Globally, the single largest driver of higher incomes for coffee farmers is increased productivity, e.g., the ability to produce more coffee given the same amount of land, labor, or capital. But if all coffee farmers around the world suddenly produced more coffee, global supply would jump and the price of coffee would decline. This is the price/yield paradox. At the heart of the paradox is the question of where the help vs. harm tipping point lies for farmers—the point at which individual income gains for farmers are erased by global price. Exploring the paradox is essential for guiding governments, institutional investors, research organizations, and even individual farmers on decisions to support farmer profitability and meet rising global demand.
In this webinar, World Coffee Research presents a new study from researchers at London School of Economics and University of Naples Parthenope, using global farmer data from Enveritas, to explore the paradox and offer insights to guide decision-making that will be critical to the future of coffee. The session will explore why measuring the agricultural productivity gap matters, including by gender and age of farmers, as well as how resource allocations can deliver different outcomes on yield and price. The session will explore differences in coffee yields around the world, as well as the implications of increasing yields for the lowest-performing farmers and the impact such increases would have on global supply and price.