Health Care

Climate imperils Ethiopia's coffee output

Climate imperils Ethiopia's coffee output”

If global warming continues unabated, up to 60 percent of land now used to grow coffee beans will be unsuitable for production by the last three decades of the century.

The study was published this week in Nature Plants.

A new study suggests Ethiopia coffee farmers need to relocate their crops or go out of business as in the next few decades, 60 percent of the sub-Saharan country's farm land could no longer be used for agriculture. Nevertheless, researchers warn that the transition should start as soon as possible.

A coffee crisis isn't just bad for the world's coffee drinkers - the African nation would suffer if the roughly 15 million coffee farmers there lost their product, which counts for a quarter of Ethiopia's exports.

According to the International Coffee Organisation, we've been consuming far more coffee than is being produced for three consecutive years and a warming climate is causing suitable areas for production to shrink.

"All but a few reported that there had been changes in their local and regional climate, including an increase in the unpredictability of the seasons", co-author Aaron Davis, a scientist at the Royal Botanic Gardens in the United Kingdom, told AFP. It will take a lot of coordination, effort, and resources - which many local farmers and smallholders don't have - but this study aims to show how that the country's coffee industry can be saved if the effort is put in now.

Those negative influences are things like less consistent and more intense weather, less rain and a shift in the timing and durations of the wet and dry seasons. One of the country's best-known coffee regions, Harar, is likely to disappear before the end of the century, the study forecast.

The world's coffee habit might be in danger, as scientists say climate change is threatening one of the world's biggest coffee producers. Currently, coffee is grown between 1,200 and 2,200 metres (4,000 and 7,200 feet). Fortunately, the potential to migrate coffee farms to higher ground exists.

Dr Tim Schilling, director of the World Coffee Research institute, added: "The supply of high-quality coffee is severely threatened by climate change, diseases and pests, land pressure, and labour shortages - and demand for these coffees is rising every year". "But if we wait, it will only become more hard and more traumatic".

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