Monday, October 12, 2009

Farmers facing ruin over climate change

Frank McDonald in the Irish Times: Climate change is wreaking havoc in the world’s coffee and tea growing regions and the next decade is likely to see many of the areas in which these crops are grown rendered unsuitable for cultivation, according to experts.

This bleak forecast has emerged from an initiative called AdapCC, a three-year collaborative project by Café Direct, the ethical hot drinks pioneer whose coffee beans are roasted and packaged in Ireland, and German Technical Co-operation.

Focusing on four key grower regions around the world, the initiative has shown how small farmers growing coffee and tea can successfully cope with the impacts of climate change and improve their access to financial and technical support.

It comes against the backdrop of a drought-driven record spike in Kenyan tea prices and steep falls in coffee harvests across the world this year, ranging from 28 per cent in Ethiopia to 50 per cent in Nicaragua, due to “extreme weather”…

Shot of a small cup of coffee by Julius Schorzman, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License

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