Global warming to damage coffee industry
Global warming poses a threat to future world coffee crops with rising temperatures and drought likely to force some producers to seek higher and cooler land.
Licht's International Coffee Report says global warming is going to present the world's coffee growers with a big challenge.
It notes a United Nations Environment Program research project in Uganda which says a rise in temperatures of about two degrees Celsius will mean a dramatic reduction in the coffee growing area.
In India's Coorg coffee region, rising temperatures and reduced rainfall will reduce the number of bees to fertilize the trees and increase the threat from a destructive pests.
The past decade has witnessed phenomenal changes in global climate.
Coffee farmers in India were in for a rude and unexpected shock when they felt the impact of El Nino and La Nina. All coffee farmers took it for granted that any change in the global environment will be slow and will take ages to happen. Moreover, why should they bother when changes that may happen over a long period of time, not affect them immediately, but the future generations? They were so casual and confident that nature would never let them down.
Today, all that is old hat. The inevitable man made changes is affecting the entire planet and think of it, there is no other planet so close that we can take shelter. We may call climate change by different names, but today no matter what you call it, global warming has emerged as a clear and potential danger threatening mother earth and all its inhabitants.
Coffee Plantations world wide, especially, Shade grown Indian coffee plantations were the first to be affected by this sudden change. Looking back, coffee plantations in India are basically rich biodiversity parks located in the ecologically sensitive westernghat reserve. One can find an incredible array of rare herbs and shrubs in the most remote of places. Coffee has mutually coexisted with the native flora and fauna and infact satellite images have thrown light that wherever coffee plantations exist, the biodiversity of the region has also been enriched.
This peaceful coexistence has continued for centuries in a complimentary set up , where in the energy levels of the biotic community is proportionately balanced. Think of it, Loss of one species will have a tremendous bearing on the other. This heritage site is a lodge for the survival of thousands of species of trees, herbs, shrubs, wildlife and so on. Most species of plant and insect life have disappeared before they were discovered. Even though the Westernghat reserve was shrinking at an alarming rate, Institutions world wide realized the importance of this vital link for the future existence of man and nature, and hence protected it as one among the 18 hotspots of the world.
The coffee bush over generations of evolution is a self programmed plant. Due to global warming the bush is in an utter state of confusion. There is considerable delay in the production of productive woods, flower primordia, and the entire biological clock of the coffee plants goes for a toss.
The coffee farmer in duress will apply excess chemical inputs just to achieve average levels of productivity. Resultant Toxicity will build up in the soil.
The coffee bush produces a running blossom spread over a period of three months which is very taxing to the plant.
The global warming effect can simply wipe away these sensitive creatures and snap a vital link of nature. All have the right to live. This cardinal rule is fundamental to our existence.