Will Coffee-Growing Regions Reduce by Half in This Century?

That is what is predicted in a report by the Climate Institute of Australia., which says that climate change will cause havoc by reducing the land that is suitable for coffee production. That will also impact the livelihood of 25 million coffee farmers throughout the globe and 120 million of the poorest workers in the world.

Expected within the next 40 years, it has long been warned by experts that something needs to be done to combat this problem since half of the areas in the world that are suitable for coffee growing will be gone by 2050 if climate change stays unchecked. By 2080, the report’s estimate states that wild coffee, which finds varietals that hopefully would be more resistant to the climate stress, could become extinct.

In 2012, a fungus, Coffee Leaf Rust, affected half of the coffee in Central America, Guatemala lost approximately 85 percent of their crop that year, there was damage of $500 million in 2012 through 2013, and 350,000 people were put out of work.

People drink over 2.25 billion cups of coffee every day, and the coffee industry gives developing countries their second most valuable export. The more commonly grown coffee, Coffea Arabica, only thrives in specific conditions in tropical highlands around the world.

Coffee plants take years to become productive, and it isn’t feasible for the farmers that are 80 to 90 percent of the coffee growers to move to higher altitudes or further away from the equator.

A world that is warming quickly, drought, and heavy rains are making it difficult to grow coffee in the necessary regions, states the report. Even half of a degree in temperature change can make a “gold mine” region unsuitable.

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