Where we plant coffee, cashew, and avocado right now may not be suitable in the future
- Coffee, cashew, and avocado are among the most important cash crops and possess importance in the economy.
- Coffee beans are used in many beverages and drink products.
- Cashew seeds are commonly consumed as snack nuts.
- Avocados are used as ingredient to many food items.
- Coffee, cashew, and avocado are plantation crops with a long lifespan of several decades and their cultivation requires long-term planning.
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted that the global temperature will be 1.2 to 3.0°C higher by year 2050.
- Scientists highlight the importance of evaluating the impact of climate change on the plants biophysical suitability in order to develop adaptation measures and selecting appropriate varieties of crops.
- Researchers created model of the current and future suitability of these plants on a global scale based on climate and soil requirement.
- They model the year 2050 climate change impact on the crops both globally and in the countries mainly producing the crops.
- Researchers discovered that climate factors including long dry season, mean temperatures, low minimum temperatures, and yearly precipitation reduce the suitability of growing these crops more than land and soil factors which include soil pH, texture, and slope steepness.
- They predicted that there will be shifts in suitable growing regions due to global warming.
- Coffee will be the most susceptible with negative climate impacts highly expected in all main producing regions which include Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia and Colombia.
- Areas suitable for cultivating cashew and avocado are expected to expand globally; however, most main producing countries will experience decrease in suitability.
- The main cashew-producing countries include Vietnam, India, Côte d’Ivoire and Benin, while the main avocado-producing countries include Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Peru and Indonesia.
- The study highlights the importance of climate change adaptation in most major producing regions of all the three crops.
- Areas with lower temperature such as in high latitudes and altitudes may profit from increasing minimum temperatures.
- The study shows the first global evaluation of the impacts of climate change on cashew and avocado suitability.
Grüter R, Trachsel T, Laube P, Jaisli I (2022) Expected global suitability of coffee, cashew and avocado due to climate change. PLoS ONE 17(1): e0261976. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0261976