Coffee-growing regions under threat from climate change, research warns

According to a new report, as climate change progresses, the best regions for growing arabica coffee, cashews, and avocados will decline in several of the world’s leading producers of these crops.

Dr. Roman Grüter and colleagues from Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland, lead the study and publish their findings in the open-access journal PLOS.

The researchers combined climate change projections and soil characteristics to determine the suitability of various regions for crop production in 2050. They incorporated land and soil requirements for the crops, such as pH, texture, and slope, using projections from 14 global climate models under three different future emission scenarios.

This research builds on previous research that established the detrimental effect of climate change on coffee beans. It provides additional evidence of decline by considering a broader range of factors, such as how the PH and texture of soil may change in response to increased rainfall. Additionally, it is the first global examination of how climate change will affect regions that produce cashews and avocados.

The analysis discovered that all major coffee-producing regions, including Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Colombia, are experiencing a decline in suitability.

Cashew-growing regions such as India, the Ivory Coast, and Benin are expected to become less suitable, while avocado-growing regions such as the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Indonesia are expected to suffer.

Meanwhile, areas suitable for all three crops, particularly cashews and avocados, may expand at higher altitudes and latitudes. Areas with the greatest potential for future development are found in the United States, Argentina, China, and East Africa.

The analysis concludes that these findings indicate a need for climate change adaptations in major producing countries, such as breeding for varieties that are tolerant of higher temperatures or drought.

“The study is the first global assessment of the effects of climate change on the suitability of cashew and avocado. “Areas suitable for cultivation of cashew and avocado are expected to expand globally, while areas of highest suitability may decrease in the majority of major producing countries,” the analysis’s authors stated.

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