Mozambique national park turns to coffee to fight deforestation
400 local farmers have begun to grow coffee trees on the slopes of Mozambique's Mount Gorongosa in an effort to revitalize the quickly disappearing rainforest and boost incomes, reports AP.
The big picture: Nearly 2 decades back, the Gorongosa National Park was considered "derelict" after a brutal civil war and wildlife poaching. "Coffee is a crop that can stop that deforestation," writes the AP. "Shade-grown coffee shrubs produce better tasting coffee beans, so the trees are planted among indigenous trees. Areas that had been denuded of trees now boast verdant slopes of coffee trees interspersed with local trees such as albizias and other crops."
What's next: Global coffee company Nespresso has expressed interest in supporting coffee production in Mozambique, per AP. The country's unique climate could render it competitive with other major coffee producers in Africa such as Ethiopia and Kenya.
- In partnership with the Mozambican government, the Gorongosa Restoration Project, funded by American philanthropist Greg Carr, will also be ramping up production soon. The organization helped plant 40,000 coffee trees this year, and has plans for 300,000 new coffee trees annually for the next 10 years, according to AP.