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Mark O' Donnell
 · 
Research Analyst
November 8, 2022
 · 

How will climate change affect cash crops?

  • There are growing fears that changing environmental conditions might not be conducive for certain types of cash crops
  • As global temperature changes, the availability of water supply, which is a requirement for the maximum growth of most crops, could also be affected

Nowadays, there are growing fears that changing environmental conditions might not be conducive for certain types of cash crops. Concerns are emerging that the impacts of global warming and climate change would be too much for some plant species to handle, putting them out of commission either for profit or for basic human needs. 

Regardless of their value, cash crops can fall victims to the effects of climate change, especially for species that are not particularly adaptable to changing weather conditions. 

Climate change or the long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns is expected to bring about more frequent and more intense weather events that are definite threats to agriculture production. As global temperature changes, the availability of water supply, which is a requirement for the maximum growth of most crops, could also be affected. 

A study published in the journal Plos One found that coffee, cashew and avocado are among the crops most susceptible to the effects of global warming. The study reasons that temperature changes will hamper the climate sustainability of growing regions for crops.  

Scientists at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland found that the ideal regions for growing coffee, cashews and avocados will either disappear, shrink or shift as global temperatures continue to rise. 

While we can never be really certain of the impacts of climate change, various studies have provided us with a picture of how it will change the world. Governments across the world have banded together to mitigate some of the effects of climate change and some measures have even been put in place to protect agriculture.  

We could, of course, always do more. As the Plos One study suggests, climate adaptation is necessary. If possible, plantations could be shifted to higher and cooler elevations. Soils could also be enriched, as well as the implementation of irrigation strategies or breeding drought and heat-tolerant crops. 

The world might have started seeing cash crops for the profit they generate but with the changes happening to the world, to guarantee the survival of these crops could mean guaranteeing the survival of the human race. 

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