Coffee Is The Cause Of Deforestation

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Coffee is grown mainly in sub-tropical regions including rainforests, and some plantations are grown in tropical savannahs. There are two ways to grow coffee — shade cultivation and sun cultivation, and two types of coffee grown commercially— robusta and higher quality arabica. Coffee was previously shade-grown, but now ‘sun cultivation’ is becoming more popular and widely used as it produces higher yields faster than shade cultivation. Producing coffee requires deforestation and land clearing. When growing coffee through ‘shade-cultivation’, some trees and other plants could be left to provide shade for the coffee plantations, which is less detrimental to the environment, but still alters the biome as trees and plants are still removed. ‘Sun-cultivation’ …show more content…
Deforestation means that a large number of animals lose their homes and are forced to relocate and adapt to a new environment. Deforestation increases the salinity of the soil, as the trees are ripped out of the ground, degrading the quality of the soil and causing problems for growing plants. Soil erosion is another result of deforestation. The topsoil is the most fertile because it contains the most organic, nutrient rich materials, which means it is perfect for growing crops. Deforestation and overgrazing are some human activities that can cause soil erosion, which is where the top layer of soil wears away. This affects the quality of not only the soil but also the coffee that is grown, as there are less nutrients. Agrochemicals degrade the soil, and damage the top layer of soil. Deforestation, erosion, increased pests and blights and other consequential environmental problems are all results of sun cultivation. Diverse coffee plantations are used as resting spots for migrating birds, but because of sun cultivation and deforestation these birds are at risk of over-exhaustion because they do not have a forested spot to rest. Water use is another coffee related environmental concern, as vast quantities of water are required for growing coffee and production. According to a recent study, to grow, process and prepare a single cup of coffee requires 140 litres of water. …show more content…
Some coffee producers are also making the switch and encouraging others. Some producers are also using drip irrigation and are trying to persuade other producers to use these methods. This is not sufficient and they need to be doing more to help the environment and promote sustainable farming and shade cultivation. Many coffee producers in poorer countries are not educated enough on the negative effects of sun-cultivation, which is why they grow it in full sunlight. All coffee producers should grow coffee under a canopy of other plants because shade cultivation is much safer and less detrimental to the environment. Shade cultivation also enhances the flavour of the coffee as less agrochemicals are used and it is the traditional way to grow it. Some trees should be left for migrating birds and the only trees that should be removed are ones that cause serious issues or problem for the coffee producers. Doing so will decrease soil erosion, salinity and degradation. It will also increase the biodiversity of the region because more animals will inhabit the plants and the plants filter water and air, storing carbon and restoring soil nutrients. One way that we (consumers) can help is to only buy Fair Trade certified coffee, which ensures that the workers and producers get fair pay, and promotes

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