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Impact of Climate Change on the Production of Coffea arabica at Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Wagner, Sigrun and Jassogne, Laurence and Price, Elizabeth and Jones, Martin and Preziosi, Richard (2021) Impact of Climate Change on the Production of Coffea arabica at Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Agriculture, 11 (1). p. 53.

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Abstract

<jats:p>Adapting coffee production to climate change is a significant challenge requiring a detailed understanding of local climatic change patterns and the consequences, both real and perceived, for coffee production. To this end, we examined changes in precipitation at Mt. Kilimanjaro over the last two decades and conducted twelve focus group discussions to obtain farmers’ perceptions on climate change, the impact of extreme weather events on coffee production and the potential of shade trees as an adaptation strategy. Despite an increase in total annual precipitation, farmers are still confronted with droughts due to a shift in seasons. We found a delayed onset of the main rainy season and showed that a positive Indian Ocean Dipole contributes to the increase in precipitation during the short rainy season. Farmers clearly described the impacts of drought or excess rainfall on coffee production during flowering, maturation, and harvest. Thus, adaptation strategies need to be tailored such that specific coffee development stages are buffered against the effects of droughts, shorter wet seasons, and less frequent but heavier rainfall events. To develop the potential of shade trees as an effective adaptation strategy, optimum shade density, specific tree species, and management practices need to be identified.</jats:p>

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