Coffee in crisis offers a lesson in resilience

Evidence from Guatemala




resilience, shock, leaf rust, risk, vulnerability, sustainability, poverty, household income.


The idea that resilience plays a role in mitigating the effects of disaster and climate change is becoming widespread across the development community. Consequently, the concept of resilience has been translated into actionable metrics. 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 (and exogenous) 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.

We found a negative impact of the shock on households' well-being. We assess the strategic role of resilience in mitigating those negative effects. We also provide evidence on how an approach that enhances both absorptive and adaptive capacity, can be beneficial for coffee producers. This paper provides policy indications to prepare a response mechanism that supports farmers in facing a recurrent, although unpredictable, shock.






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How to Cite

Coffee in crisis offers a lesson in resilience: Evidence from Guatemala. (2022). Latin American Economic Review, 31, 1-22.

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