Developing a sustainable coffee sector: Helping coffee farmers obtain better yields


The whole food chain, from Yara to the consumer, contributes to developing a sustainable coffee sector – economically, environmentally and socially.

Through its direct interaction with farmers in coffee-producing countries, Yara can play an essential role in solving the sustainability equation and reducing carbon emissions by empowering farmers through knowledge and better solutions to grow the best quality bean.

Yara’s global knowledge helps us adapt tools to local conditions, making sure farmers everywhere have the best opportunity to succeed.

Joao Moraes picture
Joao Moraes
Global Account Director

To learn more about our food chain partnerships in the coffee sector, please send me an e-mail.

We are committed to sharing our knowledge

While the coffee industry works to move farmers from subsistence to business, the focus shall remain on profit and sustainability, hand in hand with a protected environment. We think it is possible.

Sustainable fertilizer management

Coffee production is labor intensive. Coffee trees need pruning, fertilization, weeding, crop protection, irrigation - in some countries - and many hands to collect the berries. It’s becoming more difficult to find people willing to do this hard, low-paid work.

At the same time, if nutrients taken from the soil during the harvesting process are not efficiently replaced, problems such as soil depletion and acidification will happen. If soil becomes unsuitable, then there is a high probability that farmers move elsewhere, cut down the forests and start again with the same practices, leading to deforestation.

With 26 long term strategic research trials and over 350 demo plots in both Arabica and Robusta coffees, Yara has proven consistent 10 – 15% yield increase and quality improvements by using our coffee nutrition management compared to common practices in the main coffee-producing countries.

Our trials also demonstrate lower carbon footprint and emissions per kg of coffee produced. All these factors are important drivers for value for specialty coffee farmers.

Yara is present in countries responsible for more than 90% of the global coffee production. Through knowledge sharing and training, we introduce sustainable fertilizer management. In Vietnam, the focus is on increasing resource efficiency and helping coffee farmers produce more from less, while in Tanzania we show farmers the connection between the use of fertilizer and crop yield.

Tran Quoc Phong picture

Tran Quoc Phong makes a living from growing Robusta coffee in the Chu Se district of Gia Lai province, Vietnam.

“Using Yara’s program, I have increased my yield by 0.39 tons per hectare to 5.63, compared to traditional practices” 

And the result is paying off: “Profits have increased 15,892,000 vnd/ha (more than 700 USD per ha) compared to our traditional practices!” 

Developing a sustainable coffee sector

A balanced coffee nutrition program along with the proper form of nitrogen fertilizers – at the right time and right dosage – can help:

  • Coffee farmers improve productivity and increase yields and profits
  • Enhance the quality of coffee beans, meeting the taste demands of discerning consumers
  • Reduce soil acidity and soil depletion
  • Reduce the carbon footprint of a cup of coffee
  • Improve the efficiency of water use
  • Improve resilience to a changing climate