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Global warming seen threat to coffee production

By Reuters (Reuters) - April 11, 2007

LONDON — 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, according to a report issued by analyst F.O. Licht.

“Few now doubt that global warming is going to present the world’s coffee growers with a big challenge in the years to come,” an article in Licht’s International Coffee Report said.

It noted a United Nations Environment Program research project in Uganda, for instance, had concluded that a rise in temperatures of about 2 degrees Celsius would mean a “dramatic” reduction in the coffee growing area with producers moving to higher regions where there is less suitable land.

In India’s Coorg coffee region, rising temperatures and reduced rainfall would have a detrimental impact due to a drop in the number of bees to fertilize the trees and an increased threat from a destructive pest, white stem borer, it added.

“Whether or not some coffee regions eventually fade away is anyone’s guess, but one thing is certain — coffee farmers by and large are a tenacious breed because often enough they have no other viable sources of earning a living,” the report said.