Risky Business: Modeling the Future of Jamaica’s Coffee Production in a Changing Climate

Publicado en Climate 2023, 11, 122

Birthwright, A.-T. Mighty, M.

Año de publicación 2023
DOI https://doi.org/10.3390/cli11060122

Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research, Av. Italia 6201 Edificio Los Tilos, Oficina 102 CP, Montevideo 11500, Uruguay
Department of Geoscience, University of North Alabama, Florence, AL 35632, USA


Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA).

Proyecto ssp1-2.6


Jamaica produces one of the most expensive coffees on the global market. The local specialty coffee industry plays a significant role in the island&rsquos economy and also contributes to the livelihood of smallholders&mdashthe majority of whom operate the industry&rsquos coffee farms. While climate model projections suggest that Jamaica will continue to experience a warming and drying trend, no study has assessed the future impacts of changing climatic patterns on local coffee-growing areas. This research developed a number of geospatial processing models within the ArcMap software platform to model current coffee suitability and future crop suitability across three Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP1-2.6, SSP2-4.5, and SSP5-8.5) and three future time periods (2021&ndash2040, 2041&ndash2060, and 2081&ndash2100). The results validated current locations of coffee production and revealed that there was an observable decrease in coffee suitability across the island, across all SSP scenarios and time periods under study. Most growing regions were projected to experience declines in production suitability of at least 10%, with the most severe changes occurring in non-Blue Mountain regions under the SSP5-8.5 scenario. Implications of this projected suitability change range from decreased production volumes, increased price volatility, and disruption to market operations and livelihood incomes. The paper&rsquos findings offer stakeholders within Jamaica&rsquos coffee industry the opportunity to develop targeted adaptation planning initiatives, and point to the need for concrete decisions concerning future investment pathways for the industry. It also provides insight into other tropical coffee-growing regions around the world that are facing the challenges associated with climate change.