Climate change is expected to bring some shifts for African nations that grow coffee, cashews or avocados, with some current producers seeing negative impacts and others more likely to have suitable growing conditions in the future.
That’s according to new research from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland, published on Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE. The authors note that because of long land use planning timelines, it’s important to consider the future impacts now.
Coffee in particular is sensitive to climate change, with perhaps up to 50% of current production lands becoming unsuitable for growing coffee by 2050. That may affect nations in West Africa and Central Africa, mostly because of an increase in average temperatures. The research models found at least some measure of change in all three RCP climate change models they investigated.
South Africa and parts of East Africa, on the other hand, may benefit from changes that make temperature, soil, humidity, and other factors better for coffee production.
Right now, the nations with the most favorable conditions for cashew production include Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and Benin in West Africa, as well as the island nation of Madagascar off of Africa’s southern Indian Ocean coast.
When considering climate change projections, though, there are shifts into the Lake Victoria region, and in Angola and South Africa. Countries like Nigeria will likely see negative impacts to their cashew production because of the rising heat.
Avocados can be grown in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and Cameroon. That’s less true in parts of West Africa with higher rainfall and parts of East Africa with less.
In the future, countries like Angola and Zambia are likely to see improved temperatures for growing avocadoes. Other countries, including Ethiopia and Kenya, may benefit from more rainfall.
The study authors say their work has shown that climate change adaptation will be necessary in most major producing regions of all three crops.