Bartalks has been unofficially informed that World Coffee Research is planning to shutter their Global Monitoring Programme of On-Farm Technical Trials following an external audit. Sources involved with the project have reported receiving a letter containing the following statement:
‘…. the evidence showing that the return to farmers and partners for the information collected is very low … without the possibility of returning a usable analysis for the purpose of coffee growing.’ ,
Bartalks has not seen the letter, but if true, it will be a blow for the WCR, as this program was seen as key to their strategic objectives by providing a large volume of data by 2022.
The data the researchers hoped to extract from the programme would be welcome in the struggle to combatting the challenges coffee farmers are facing. WCR referred to the plan as ‘Smarter Farming. You can download their research prospectus below:
This network of hundreds of scientifically designed plots will result in significant advances in knowledge about coffee variety performance, soil treatments, and farming practices.’
With the 1100 trials taking place in 30 countries and the strain on resources and funding, it may have just been a little too ambitious.
This will be an industry-deflating blow if true. As a fan of the WCR, I find their work fascinating and their objectives admirable. Hopefully, there will still be lessons that can be applied elsewhere.