Forest plantations are a potent blend for coffee production

By Anthony King
Horizon magazine
November 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Climate change is threatening Europe’s coffee supplies, but the impacts could be diluted by planting the crops amongst trees – a technique known as agroforestry, which is also being revived in European farming. …The top producers of arabica coffee beans today are in Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia and Indonesia, and half of all coffee is grown under full sun. These exposed coffee trees are increasingly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. …However there is an alternative way to grow coffee, one which harks back to its origins in the forested highlands of Ethiopia where wild coffee grew in shady forests. The idea is to grow the crop in the shade of taller timber or fruit trees, in so-called agroforestry systems. It is also the only way to grow coffee and preserve mountain soils.

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