In the future, Ethiopia will produce fewer specialty coffees appreciated by hobbyists around the world. The reason will be climate change as a result of global warming, which will lead to the disappearance of areas suitable for growing the Specialty coffee category. This is the conclusion reached by German scientists at the Postdam Institute for the Study of Climate Change, whose article was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
According to Abel Chemura, lead author of the scientific work, the area of agricultural land that is only suitable for growing medium-quality coffee will gradually increase over the next 60 years. If the trend of uncontrolled climate change continues, then areas that are suitable for high-quality coffees valued for fruity, floral and spicy notes will begin to decline.
In total, experts examined the impact of 19 climatic factors (including average temperature, annual rainfall levels and changing seasons) on five different types of Specialty coffee. As it gets warmer, the outer fruit pulp of the coffee berry ripens faster than the bean, resulting in poor coffee quality. High rainfall contributes to coffee production in general, but can be harmful to certain varieties.
Scientists predict that the famed Yirgacheffe, one of the oldest and most sought-after coffees grown in southwestern Ethiopia, in a worst-case scenario could lose more than 40 percent of its usable area by the end of the 21st century. This means that small farming, switching to traditional varieties, will have to compete with more efficient industrial production in other countries, which will have a deplorable effect on the country's economy.