Will Climate Change Destroy Coffee Production

A hotter climate is going to be bad for coffee. We have written about how coffee leaf rust wipes out coffee crops. Coffee farmers need to replant with new strains and plant higher on the mountain where temperatures are lower. Will climate change destroy coffee production? According to CNBC, the CEO of Illy, climate change is affecting coffee.

Climate change is a threat to coffee production in the medium and long term, Andrea Illy, chairman and CEO of Italian coffee company Illy, told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday.

“Coffee is one of the crops which is severely affected by climate change, which is a threat both in terms of too high temperature in some regions when it is produced, (and) a threat in terms of water security – either droughts or excessive rains – in certain other regions,” Illy said.

“(The) problem is that apparently, most of the land suitable for Arabica production which is the best and most, let’s say, most cultivated, will be reduced by 50 percent from now to 2050 as a consequence of climate change,” Illy went on to add.

Despite the possibility of a reduction in coffee production, consumption is going up. The Illy CEO predicts that they will need to be producing twice to three times as much to keep up with demand by the end of the century.

Effect of Climate Change on Agriculture

Higher temperatures, more chaotic weather patterns, droughts and floods we become the norm as the world climate change, according to experts. The Tech Times writes about the effect of climate change on agriculture.

As average global temperatures begin to rise due to human activity, scientists say the drastic effects of climate change continue to take effect all over the world.

One of the most severely affected sectors is the field of agriculture. In the past decades, extreme weather conditions caused by climate change have disrupted global food production.

The researchers found that global cereal production was as much as 10% lower in the last twenty years. However, there appears to be a “fertilizer” effect of higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. The problem for coffee is that the fertilizer effect would not reduce the risk of leaf rust or help when crops are washed out by floods or die because of drought. Climate change may not destroy coffee production but it may well reduce it.

How about Cocoa?

The Bangor Daily News reports that as climate change threatens coffee production, many Central American farmers are switching to cocoa.

Soaring temperatures in Central America, linked to climate change, are forcing many farmers to replace coffee trees with cocoa – a crop once so essential to the region’s economy it was used as currency.

Farmers across the region, known for high-quality Arabica beans, still are recovering from a coffee leaf rust disease known as roya, which devastated crops over the past four years.

Now, lower-altitude areas are becoming unsuitable for growing coffee as temperatures heat up. Cocoa thrives in the warmer weather.

It would appear that as coffee production moves up the mountain cocoa will take its place at lower altitudes. Maybe we will all be drinking mocha in a generation or two!

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