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  • on 28.05.2015
  • at 11:42 AM
  • by Kevin Hind

Rising night time temperature reduces coffee yields 0

Climate change is affecting coffee growing areas in the East African highlands, leading to decreased in yields for farmers. According to researchers based in Colombia, South Africa and Uganda, coffee supports the livelihoods of 2.4 million people in Tanzania, with the country generating an average earnings of US$100 million a year.

But the researchers add that despite global estimates of the impacts of climate change on coffee widely grown in the world — Coffea arabica — evidence in Tanzania are lacking, thus making it difficult for policymakersto invest in climate change adaptation strategies.

The researchers estimated the effect of weather on coffee yields from 1961 to 2012, and projected similar outcome by 2060 using data from the Tanzania Coffee, the Tanzanian National Bureau of Statistics, and global datasets.

“We demonstrate for the first time that increasing night time temperature is the most significant climatic variable responsible for diminishing C. arabica yields between 1961 and 2012,” the researchers write in a study published on 31 March in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology.

The researchers add that an increase of one degree Celcius in night temperature led to decreased coffee yields of 120-154 kilograms a hectare.

This is the first on-the-ground evidence that climate change is already having an impact on coffee, says Piet van Asten, a co-author and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture country representative in Uganda and agronomist working on sustainable intensification of cropping systems.

Continue reading on SciDev.net

by Dorcas Odhiambo

Photo credit: Oxfam International

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