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Arabica is one of only two species of bean used to make coffee and is by far the most popular, accounting for 70 per cent of the global market including almost all fresh coffee sold in high street chains and supermark..

09 Nov 2012

LONDON(Commodity Online): Arabica beans, the popular coffee variety could face extinction within decades due to threat from climate change, says research reports.

Researchers from Kew Gardens says that, by 2080 99.7 per cent of Arabica-growing areas will become unsuitable for the plant due to rising global temperatures and subtle changes in seasonal conditions.

Although commercial growers could still grow their own crops by watering and artificially cooling them, the wild type has much greater genetic diversity which is essential to help plantations overcome threats like pests and disease.

The only way to preventing the demise of the species is identifying new sites where Arabica could be grown away from its natural home in the mountains of Ethiopia and South Sudan, researchers said.

Arabica is one of only two species of bean used to make coffee and is by far the most popular, accounting for 70 per cent of the global market including almost all fresh coffee sold in high street chains and supermarkets in the US and most of Europe.

The new study, published in the Public Library of Science ONE journal, used computer modelling to predict the survival prospects of Arabica coffee for the first time, based on three different climate change scenarios.

India produces more robusta variety than Arabica- the final crop estimate in India based on crop harvest data for the year 2011-12 is placed at 314,000 tons comprising of 101,500 tons of Arabica(32% to total) . The production of Arabica has shown a decline of 2225 MT (2.15%) while Robusta declined by 3,775 MT (1.75%) over the post-monsoon estimate made before crop harvesting in 2011.


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