Climate Change Brews Trouble for Coffee Cultivation

Climate Change Brews Trouble for Coffee Cultivation

Climate change poses significant threats to coffee cultivation, particularly for the Arabica variety, which dominates global consumption. Arabica coffee requires specific climatic conditions found at higher altitudes and is particularly vulnerable due to its low genetic diversity. This makes it susceptible to diseases like coffee leaf rust, which already causes billions in losses annually. Rising global temperatures are reducing the number of viable locations for Arabica cultivation, with predictions that areas in Brazil, a major producer, could become unsuitable by the century's end.

Researchers, including teams from Nestlé, are exploring genetic solutions by developing new Arabica varieties that are more resilient to diseases and drought. Advances in genomic research, highlighted by the creation of a high-quality Arabica reference genome, are enabling scientists to pinpoint genetic traits responsible for these resistances. This development could lead to the breeding of new varieties that can withstand the changing climate, ensuring the sustainability of coffee production.

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