The increasingly unpredictable weather patterns caused by climate change pose a serious threat to coffee production in Africa, experts said here Friday.
Higher temperatures and long spells of droughts followed by intense rainfall due to disastrous effects of climate change are negatively affecting coffee plants across Africa and this will ultimately affect production, said Samuel Kamau, executive director of African Fine Coffees Association.
He made the remarks at a preparation event of the 17th African Fine Coffee Conference and Exhibition, which is slated for Feb. 12-15, 2019, in Rwanda.
Kamau called on African leaders and policy makers to intensify efforts and commit to implementing global and national measures put in place to mitigate climate change impacts.
Coffee production in Africa is expected to drop by a million bags due to unpredictable weather conditions, pests and diseases, said George William Kayonga, chief executive officer of Rwanda National Agriculture Export Development Board.
African coffee producing countries should collaborate with coffee farmers to introduce new and innovative ways to address challenges like climate change and volatile markets, Kayonga said.
Farmers should pay attention to growing more resistant varieties of coffee plants that withstand adverse effects of climate change, he added.
World coffee exports amounted to 10.45 million bags in June 2018, up from 10.19 million in June last year, according to the International Coffee Organisation.