Going by the study conducted, regions which are primarily known for growing coffee, are likely to worsen and “drastically decrease” by 2050. But then, the areas for cashews and avocados are anticipated to proliferate but in new locations, far-flung from the current ones.The authors voice their concern in favour of larger efforts to help farmers adapt to changing climatic situations.
As for coffee, its plantation gives livelihood to millions of farmers and is also a prime beverage.
As for avocados and cashews, consumers harbour a growing preference for them and demand has just got thick and steady in recent decades, especially the demand from well-to-do countries.
Recently, many studies have been carried out to gauge the impact of climate change on the coffee plantation but no clear indication about the impact of rising temperature upon avocadoes and cashews.
A study has been conducted to have a closer survey of the impact caused by rising temperatures coupled with the changing rates of precipitation in the coming decades.
Besides, the researchers have also included the land and soil analysis in their study.
Coffee is prone to high temperatures. “Arabica” is considered to be the prominent coffee variant and the countries with large scale production of this form of coffee will witness a decrease in soil quality by 50% by the time 2050 sets in, as per what this report highlights.
To make things worse, some regions are likely to witness a more harsh impact. In fact, coffee production is likely to decrease by 76% in Brazil and by 63% in Columbia while there is hailed to be the most fertile soil for coffee production.
In the name of delicious steaming coffee, there is great hope as such a change in temperature will result in transforming northern and southern areas of the world, into the more favourable regions of coffee production. For instance, Argentina, China, South Africa and India.
But the minds behind the report argue that a complete shift in coffee production on a massive scale will take place.
Roman Gruter, who works at Zurich University of Applied Sciences, reflects, “The key message for those that are in the main producing regions today is that farming systems have to adapt to the changing conditions.”
“If there is already coffee grown in a new area where it is just about possible with some management options, it might get easier or might be possible to expand but it doesn’t mean that we will get perfect coffee growing regions within 10 years or so”.
Then, there is a distinct picture for cashews and areas suitable for this crop will likely proliferate by 17%.
But, there are places where cashews are acknowledged as a cash crop and such news makes us crestfallen. In the case of India, critical areas can be lost while in Benin, half of its areas will no longer be suitable if a slight change in temperature takes place.
For avocados, the matters are complicated too, especially where such are produced on a large scale.
Even in Mexico, which is the largest producer in the world, suitable lands can be expanded by 80%.
In the case of Peru, which is another prominent cultivator, half of its suitable areas will be lost if the climate model remains static.
No doubt, the report indicates some strange outcome as a result of rising in temperature and change in rainfall patterns and some areas would become more favourable, but then the authors are in awe as most of the forest would be converted into the land of farming or would result in the expansion of invasive species.
Roman Gruter confirms,”In regions that might get more suitable for growing those crops, it is important to make sure that there are no negative environmental impacts such as deforestation.”
He continued,”In all of these changes, the local stakeholders, the local communities have to get involved in these changing processes. In should be really participatory”.
A thick strength among the farmers has been mobilized towards new crops in Sicily in recent years and such a shift in attitude (however profit-oriented) is attributed to a rise in temperature.
Andrea Passanisi is one such farmer who churns out avocados near Mount Etna. Such a change in nature has turned the tide in his favour, just like the case for hundreds of other farmers.
But then, growing conditions have become more difficult too, as a result of rising temperatures.
He revealed before media, “The real climate change here is in the seasons.
“Once it was cold in November and December, now it is January or February – that is not good for avocados.”
“If you grow on land that’s not suitable for avocado, it’s the end,” Andrea said.
“We will continue to grow, as we have good land, but we will not have as much fruit.”
Besides, droughts have become a more common phenomenon too and so are the intense downpours which pose a challenging situation for the farmers.
As the change in temperature is recorded, which farmers dislike, they can also consider certain ways to assuage climate change.
Finally, we have a viewpoint from Dr Joaquin Guillermo Ramirez Gil, who spends time at the National University of Colombia, “It is possible that some regions where avocados are currently grown the use of the genetic variability of avocado might help.”
“This species has three ‘races’ with different geographical origins, which makes it quite ‘plastic’ to adapt to different climatic conditions.
“There are also local adaptations and new management alternatives such as the use of bio-stimulants and nanotechnology-based products as a basis for reducing stress due to extreme weather conditions.”
The report was initially published in the e-journal.