The impact of climate change and variability on coffee production: a systematic review

Pham, Yen ORCID: and Reardon-Smith, Kathryn and Mushtaq, Shahbaz and Cockfield, Geoff (2019) The impact of climate change and variability on coffee production: a systematic review. Climatic Change, 156 (4). pp. 609-630. ISSN 0165-0009


Coffee is one of the most important globally traded commodities and substantially contributes to the livelihoods of millions of smallholders worldwide. As a climate-sensitive perennial crop, coffee is likely to be highly susceptible to changes in climate. Using a systematic approach, we explore evidence from the published academic literature of the influence of climate change and variability, specifically drought, on coffee production. A number of mostly negative impacts were reported in the current literature, including declines in coffee yield, loss of coffee-optimal areas with significant impacts on major global coffee-producing countries and growth in the distribution of pest and disease that indirectly influence coffee cultivation. Current research also identified positive effects of climate change such as increases in coffee-producing niche, particularly in areas at higher altitudes; however, whether these gains might offset losses from other production areas requires further investigation. Other advantages include increases in pollination services and the beneficial effects of elevated carbon concentration, leading to potential yield improvements. Future priorities should focus on major coffee-growing regions projected to be adversely affected by climate change, with specific attention given to potential adaptation strategies tailored to particular farming conditions such as relocation of coffee plantations to more climatically suitable areas, irrigation and agroforestry. The majority of studies were based in the Americas and concentrated on Arabica coffee. A broader spread of research is therefore required, especially for the large growing regions in Asia and for Robusta coffee, to support sustainable production of the global coffee industry.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to ArticleFirst version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Applied Climate Sciences (1 Aug 2018 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Sciences (6 Sep 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2020 00:46
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2020 05:11
Uncontrolled Keywords: agroforestry, adaptive management, climate change, coffee, crop production, crop yield, coffee plantation, carbon concentrations, sustainable production, systematic review
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070105 Agricultural Systems Analysis and Modelling
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070301 Agro-ecosystem Functionand Prediction
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960905 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Water Management
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8298 Environmentally Sustainable Plant Production > 829805 Management of Water Consumption by Plant Production
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures
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