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The last drop? Climate change threatens Arabica coffee crop

Posted by: Colleen Stoxen Updated: November 9, 2012 - 5:01 PM

Climate change could severely reduce the areas suitable for wild Arabica coffee before the end of the century.

That is the conclusion of work by a UK-Ethiopian team published in the academic journal Plos One. It supports predictions that a changing climate could damage global production of coffee - the world's second most traded commodity after oil.

Wild Arabica is important for the sustainability of the coffee industry because of its genetic diversity. Arabica coffee and Robusta coffee are the two main species used commercially, although the former provides about 70% of production.

The Arabica crops grown in the world's coffee plantations are from very limited genetic stock and are thought to lack the flexibility to cope with climate change and other threats such as pests and diseases.

Read more from BBC.

AFP photo

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