Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | March 10, 2011

Global Warming Hurts Coffee Supply

Colombian coffee is famous, especially the more expensive Arabica coffee beans known for its lower caffeine content and delicate taste. But global warming, with its rising temperatures and more intense and unpredictable rains, is affecting the supply of Colombia’s Arabica coffee.

Even a temperature rise of half a degree can bring on pests that thrive on warmer weather, or ripen the fruit too quickly for optimum quality. Heavy rains tear the fragile Arabica blossoms, and without dry spells, the plant will not flower and produce beans.

Arabica beans take about seven months to mature, and farmers, worried about repaying loans, are hesitant to switch to a genetically altered Arabica bean that could withstand the storms and the heat. Farmers also worry the new breed will not meet export quality.

In 2006, Colombia produced more than 12 million 132-pound bags of coffee, and set a goal of 17 million for 2014. Last year the yield was nine million bags.

Related site:
The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation

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