In the News

Climate change affects key crops

Joanne Parkinson

30th January 2022

Crops that grow in tropical climates are at risk from changes to global climate. These crops include coffee, avocados and cashews.

There has been an increased demand for overseas produce by affluent nations which has led to a greater demand for crops to be grown. When changes to temperature are also taken into account this threatens the amount produced and puts pressure on the soils and resources needed for growth.

Changes to temperature and rainfall amounts as well as the pressure on soil fertility will affect the amounts grown. Coffee is the most susceptible crop to climate change with the dominant coffee bean, Arabica, likely to be affected as half of the areas where it is grown will become unsuitable.

However, there is some hope that areas not currently growing at their optimum levels will be able to start cultivating more as their local climates will become more suitable. These areas include South Africa and China, amongst others. These countries will have to take time to get the cultivation at their optimum levels though and experts predict that it will take ten years to get to that point, leaving a period of time where global production will decrease, having an impact on import markets and cost within retail. Even if these countries can develop their agriculture quickly, the size of the areas may not equate to what has been lost in other countries which have seen a decline. Overall, the future for these foods will be a concern.

For more on this report, read the BBC news article.

Joanne Parkinson

An experienced, outstanding Geography teacher, GCSE examiner and Head of Humanities in a 11-18 school. I'm passionate about all geographical events and am a keen blogger.

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