Sunday, May 9, 2021

Colombia coffee producers face crisis due to ‘El Niño’ water shortages

Colombia Reports

Colombia's coffee region (Photo: National Coffee Growers Federation)

Colombia’s coffee production is predicted to fall 18% for the second half of the year amid water shortages caused by the “El Niño” weather phenomenon.

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This warning comes as latest coffee production figures show an increase of 16% for September compared to the same month last year, with a total of 1 million 60-kg bags, reported Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, the FNC.

FNC chief Roberto Velez reported, “the subject of coffee, for many reasons has brought zero profits, or even negative, regarding revenues there have always been problems of climate change, labor and fertilizer, which generally increase the costs.”

Velez said that while coffee production levels so far this year have been strong, however, predictions are that 18% of coffee produced in the second half of the coffee will be lost due to “EL Niño.” The drought will also have negative effects on the quality of the beans produced.

The chief reported a “fragile equation” in the balance between costs of production and growth of coffee, something that most affects small and medium growers sensitive to changes in the market.

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The “El Niño” weather phenomenon is affecting northern and western regions of the country since this February, and is set to reach new levels of intensity. The weather event has caused water shortages resulting in high losses for agriculture and livestock.

Colombia on red alert: Nearly half the country threatened by drought

The FNC has worked aggressively since the late 1950s to bring Colombian coffee to the number two spot for global production, second only to Brazil. However, in recent times a booming business from Vietnam has overtaken the country and Colombia is now the third largest coffee producer in the world.

 

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