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The world’s largest coffee-producing region-Latin America is on direct target of global warming resulting a significant reduction of as big as 88% in coffee production by 2050. These findings have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
According to Taylor Ricketts, director of the University of Vermont’s (UVM) Gund Institute for Environment and study co-author, Coffee tends to be one of the most valuable commodities on earth and needs a suitable climate and numerous bees to pollinate it so that it can yield a good crop. This study gives us an insight into how both coffee and bees are affected due to the climatic change and how the coffee cultivators are ultimately going to face its consequences.
While there have been many other researches that give an insight into the climate-coffee scenario, none of them have explored the relation between coffee and bees at a national or continental scale. Contrary to previous assessments, this study forecasts a much greater loss in coffee production by the year 2050. The largest decline has been projected in Nicaragua, Honduras and Venezuela which lacks mountainous regions for cultivators to shift to cooler climates.Coffee production is the main source of livelihood for millions of rural poor people and a decline in coffee production is sure to hit them bad. While this study brings bad news for Latin America, A slight increase in coffee production in Mexico, Guatemala, Columbia and Costa-Rica is estimated mainly because of them being mountainous areas where temperatures are expected to support coffee growth and increase in bee population.
The study also provides strategies to improve coffee growth and bee pollination in Latin America. Prioritizing farming practices that do not have any negative impact on climate is the way to go. Less chemical pesticides and more organic ones is sure to have a positive impact in the long run. Protect forests and maintain shade trees to help bees reproduce and have a natural habitat. This will support pollinators, which in turn increase coffee production by increasing the frequency of pollination.
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