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British scientists sound the alarm: coffee can disappear

Arabica and other popular sorts are at risk

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Mankind faces a caffeine deficiency, as 60% of coffee plantations are at risk and may disappear forever. Scientists at the Royal Botanic Garden in Kew have shown that more than a half of the coffee types can be destroyed if deforestation and global warming are continuing. The problem of diseases of coffee trees will also exacerbate.

Coffee Plantation in Ethiopia

One of the most disturbing news for coffee lovers is the threat of the Arabica disappearance. Grown in Ethiopia, this species currently provides more than a half of the world’s coffee supply.

Coffee plants are demanding to the environment, and only a certain combination of temperature and precipitation allows the beans to mature, maintaining their taste and aroma. Yet farmers are increasingly complaining that changing weather conditions, as well as new types of pests and diseases, are affecting their crops.

«Given the importance of Arabica to the world community, we have to put a lot of effort into determining the amount of risk on which the further existence of coffee in the wild depends on,»- said Dr. Theddeus Woldemariam Gol, a representative of the environment and coffee forests in Addis Ababa.

The farmer checks the quality of the coffee tree

The problem of the coffee disappearance makes professionals look for ways to minimize risks. Scientists from the «World Coffee Research»organization have created several projects that, in their opinion, can save coffee trees from extinction. For example, there is a project to create a gene bank for conservation the genetic diversity of coffee. Another strategy is to create a database with information on the resistance, yield and coffee beans resistance of various varieties to pests and diseases while growing in different conditions. The third is the creation of a «tastes catalog» in which new coffees, developed by manufacturers, are being evaluated. But even on the organization’s website, experts admit that «there are serious gaps in our knowledge of how to aid coffee growers to adapt to changes».

Ethiopian children are sorting through the coffee beans on the coffee plantation

Molly Harriss Olson, an executive director of the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand, said that she was particularly concerned about the situation of producers of coffee and the effect of warming temperatures and unpredictable weather conditions on the crop.


«Coffee supports the activity of 125 million people around the world, including the poor in developing countries», – she said, referring to the report of the International Coffee Organization. «If we don’t do anything about this in the near future, the consequences for people will be absolutely destructive».

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