Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ethiopia’s Coffee Farmers Are 'On The Front Lines Of Climate Change’

Ethiopia gave the world Coffea arabica, the species that produces most of the coffee we drink these days. Today, the country is the largest African producer of Arabica coffee. The crop is the backbone of the country's economy – some 15 million Ethiopians depend on it for a living.
Growing coffee provides income for about 15 percent
 of Ethiopia's population and is the country's top export.
Climate change is likely to shrink the land suitable for
 coffee, thereby also hurting the livelihoods of many people.
But the effects of climate change – higher temperatures and less rainfall – could take a toll on the country's ability to farm this treasured crop. In parts of Ethiopia, spring and summer rains have already declined by 15–20 percent since the 1970s. Climate data shows that rainfall in Ethiopia has declined by almost 40 inches since the 1950s. And the frequency of droughts has increased in recent years, affecting coffee growing regions as well.

Ethiopia could lose from 39 to 59 percent of its current coffee-growing areas to climate change by the end of the century, according to a new study published in Nature Plants.

Read the story by Courtney Columbus on The Salt - “Ethiopia’s Coffee Farmers Are 'On The Front Lines Of Climate Change’.”

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