Photo credit: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
In their worldwide search for the best beans, coffee retailers like Starbucks have recently discovered the fine Arabica coffee varieties grown in Uganda and other east African highland regions. But according to a recent story in the South African daily Independent Online, the burgeoning cash crop for Ugandan farmers is increasingly threatened by climate change.
Coffee is seasonal in Uganda and thrives during the rainy, cool period, which usually lasts from November to February. But recently rainfall has been sporadic, putting fragile coffee plants at risk. And there have been more droughts in the past three years resulting in poorer quality beans.As an adaptation strategy, Ugandan farmers are growing more trees to create a cool shade for the coffee; mulching or covering soil with grass to retain irrigation water, and digging long terraces in the ground to capture rainwater. But farmers told the Independent Online they are skeptical that they will able to mitigate the effects of climate change on his crops without further assistance. :: Via Independent Online (South Africa)
See also TreeHugger's advice on How to Green Your Coffee & Tea