April 4, 2007 / 10:29 PM / 13 years ago

Global warming to shrivel Brazil coffee crop: study

Woman holds coffee beans in Brazil. Brazilian coffee output could fall to 2.4 million 60-kg bags in 2100, from a forecast 32 million bags this year, due to global warming, government agricultural research agency Embrapa said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian coffee output could fall to 2.4 million 60-kg bags in 2100, from a forecast 32 million bags this year, due to global warming, government agricultural research agency Embrapa said on Wednesday.

The head of Embrapa Informatica Agropecuaria, Eduardo Assad, said in a study that a 5.8-degree Celsius increase in temperature could result in Brazil’s coffee area plunging to 1 percent of its current productive area of 2.1 million hectares (4.9 million acres).

“Embrapa is setting up a network to study climate change,” an Embrapa press official said, adding that researchers were trying to develop new coffee varieties to resist drought and high temperatures.

The study, part of a multiyear program, also analyzed the likely reduction in planting of soybeans, corn, rice, sugar cane and beans due to climate change.

In February, a joint study with the government’s Center for Meteorological Studies and Applied Climatology predicted that Brazil would plant 40 percent less soybeans and 10 to 15 percent less corn.

Brazil is the world’s biggest coffee and sugar cane producer, No. 2 soybean supplier and leading grower of other crops.

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