Effect of Climate Change on Arabica Coffee

Effect of Climate Change on Arabica Coffee (Coffea arabica L.) Production and Selected Cup Quality Parameters; the Case of Bensa District Sidama Zone Southern Ethiopia.
Authors: Tsegaye Dejene (BSc), Demelash Kefale (PhD), Tenaw Workayehu (PhD)

ABSTRACT
Coffee is the world’s favorite beverage and the second- most traded commodity after oil. Globally Arabica coffee provides about 70% of the commercial production, and Ethiopia is recognized as the home of Arabica coffee and well- known for its production of high-quality coffee. However the productivity of Arabica coffee is tightly linked to climate conditions, and is thus strongly influenced by natural climatic variabilities and changes. The aim of this study was thus; to evaluate trends in climate variables and changes as well as the effect on production and selected cup quality parameters of Arabica coffee in three rural kebeles of Bensa district, Sidama zone, Southern Ethiopia. In this regard primary and secondary data were collected from National Meteorology Agency; from Cooperatives; Coffee quality laboratory reports and interviews of respondent farmers. The obtained qualitative and quantitative data were then analyzed using SPSS data editor. Frequencies and percentiles were also used to summarized and present the results. The data record from coffee quality laboratory tested on Acidity, Flavor, Body and Cup cleanness were correlated with long-term meteorological data. Similarly the meteorological data and farmer’ perception on rainfall and temperature trends in the last 20 years were evaluated by linear trend analysis. Coefficient of variations and percent deviations were also used to evaluate and determine rainfall variability. The result obtained from both meteorological data of two decades and observation of respondent farmers indicated the existence of decreasing trend in annual rainfall while an increasing trend in both minimum and maximum temperatures. There was also inter-annual rainfall variability with CV value of 47.1% in the amount of Belg (small rainy season) and 26.6% in kirmet (main rainy season).Consequently, pearsons’ correlation analysis showed that coffee flavor was strongly affected by the decreasing rainfall and increasing temperature in the study area. However the other coffee quality parameters, acidity as well as body and cup cleanness were not significantly affected by the observed climatic trends. It was also confirmed by the respondent farmers that coffee productivity and quality is declining during the last two decades presumably related to the changes in local climate. Accordingly the changes in the flavor of Arabica coffee along with the changing climate in the district and similar areas is likely to affect the livelihood of coffee producer, merchants and the country’s foreign exchange income at large since reduced quality provides lesser income.
Kew words: Coffee Arabica, Climate Change, Acidity, Flavor, Body, Cup Cleanness

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