Editor’s Note: One of the many things that climate change threatens to disrupt is coffee production. In a far-flung corner of Indonesia, this could spell disaster for farmers’ incomes — and for tropical forests. This is the story of one of those farmers.
Glora Padang, a young farmer in the Indonesian province of North Sumatra, learned how to grow coffee from his parents, who five years ago gave him 2 hectares (5 acres) of land in Siempat Rube subdistrict to settle down on.
Like most farmers in the region, Padang grows other crops alongside his coffee, including rice, corn and other vegetables. One recent morning, a trader arrived at Padang’s house to buy some newly harvested crops. Padang sold 13 liters of coffee beans and 4 kilograms of chili peppers that morning, earning Rp. 352,000 (about US$ 32). This moderate income helps him support his wife and infant son — but a stable price for his crops is by no means guaranteed. Continue reading