Elevation: 200–1,900 metres (650–6,200 feet) above sea level
Rainfall: 2,200–4,400 millimetres (87–173 inches)
Temperature: 23°C–26°C (73°F–79°F)
Caquetá is part of the Amazonas region in the southeast of Colombia. Most of the department consists of low-lying tropical rainforest, but the eastern cordillera runs along the border with Huila in the northwest.
Settlers from Huila brought coffee to this part of Caquetá in the mid-twentieth century (Huaca 2017). Colombia’s armed conflicts disrupted coffee production and trade in the following years, and according to the FNC, coffee cultivation ‘almost disappeared’ in the department in the early twenty-first century (FNC 2019).
The land area cultivated with coffee began to increase towards the end of the conflict, reaching a peak of just over 4,000 hectares when the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed a peace deal in 2016. The planted area decreased slightly in the following years, reaching 3,700 hectares in 2021 (FNC 2022). Production, on the other hand, increased greatly, from just over 40,000 bags per year in 2014 to around 90,000 bags in 2019 (Trujillo et al 2021).
Caquetá’s 2016 development plan identified coffee as a crop with high potential to promote stability in the region by creating jobs, as well as to protect biodiversity by maintaining forested areas (Graser et al 2020). Coffee is Caquetá’s only significant international export, and 90% of the department’s coffee crop is sold outside Colombia (Huaca 2017).
In the eastern coffee-growing departments of Caquetá, Meta, and Casanare, 65% of the coffee-growing area lies at elevations below 1,200 metres (3,900 feet), and some coffee is cultivated as low as 200 metres (650 feet) above sea level (Giraldo-Jaramillo et al 2021).