Global Warming Will Lead to Changes in Major Crops

Global Warming Will Lead to Changes in Major Crops

Certain crops will have a huge shift as the world warms according to this recent study. The plants studied are the tropical crops cashew, avocado and coffee.  They require long-term planning and provide livelihoods for millions of small farmers in tropical areas.  Coffee is a crop sought after by rich countries and avocados and cashews have increased in popularity over the past decade. 

The study highlights that key cultivation areas for coffee crops in Brazil, Vietnam, Columbia and Indonesia would decrease by around a half by 2050, even if global warming is directed towards the ideal 1.5oC, and overall Brazil could lose 76% of suitable land for coffee whilst Columbia could lose 63%. Despite this, other countries such as New Zealand, China and South Africa might gain areas that would be suitable for the growth of coffee beans, however, this doesn’t mean replacing old sites is easy. Those small farmers would need aid adapting and coffee plantations can take years to establish. 

Avocados and cashews will have a different change, with suitable land expanding by 17% worldwide, with the largest producer of avocados, Mexico, seeing an increase of up to 80% or more, though another major producer, Peru, would lose around 50%. For cashews, India and Benin both would lose suitable areas for growing the key crops. 

Other issues presented by these changing areas could be deforestation in an effort to start production or expand production, as well as the potential for invasive species to spread and grow. It has been suggested that avocados at least may be flexible enough to adapt, thanks to the existence of three varying avocado types, all suited for different climates and geographical origins. 


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