BEACON TRANSCRIPT – According to a recently released study, the coffee production of Latin American, one of the world’s largest producers, might be put at risk by two of the elements on which it also relies the most. Namely, the production rates of this good are likely to be affected by both the warming weather and the slow reduction in the number of bees, its primary pollinators.
The Coffee Production of Latin America to Decrease Significantly by 2050?
University of Vermont (UVM) Gund Institute for Environment researchers conducted this new study. This was presented as being the first one to show how the pollinators and weather will be altered because of climate change, and how this might affect the national and continental coffee production rates.
Based on the study findings, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Honduras will likely experience a greater loss in their coffee regions than previously estimated. Nonetheless, the researchers projected a slight increase in the coffee growing of countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Colombia.
Their growing and production rates are expected to rise in mountainous areas whose temperatures can support a robust bee population and coffee growing.
“If there are bees in the coffee plots, they are very efficient and very good at pollinating, so productivity increases and also berry weight,” explained Pablo Imbach, part of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture.
He then continued by pointing out that the study looked to establish if, in areas “projected to lose coffee suitability”, this decrease might be tied to bees.
This latest research also determined some strategies that might help improve both the coffee growth and the bee pollination processes. For example, increasing the number of bee habitats near a coffee farm where the pollinators’ diversity is decreasing.
Or protecting main shade trees, forests, native plants, live fences, and windbreakers as part of their farming practices. This could help reduce the climate impact of the coffee production.
If measures are not taken, the study estimates that the coffee growing areas of Latin America might decrease by even as much as 88 percent by 2050.
Study findings were released in a paper in the journal PNAS.
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