The scientific journal Nature has published a study by the British University of Exeter that warns about the negative consequences that the climate crisis could have on world banana production, due to the effect that rising temperatures and changing rainfall have on tropical crops.
The research, led by Dan Bebber, head of Biosciences at Exeter University, looked at the recent and future impact of climate change on the world's leading banana producers and exporters. From his conclusions, 10 of the 27 banana producing countries that generate 86% of global production, including India (the world's leading producer and consumer), Brazil (the fourth largest producer), Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama and the Philippines, could see a significant decrease in crop yields by 2050.
International trade in this fruit plays a fundamental role for local and national economies in producing countries such as Ecuador and Costa Rica, where bananas and banana products are the second largest agricultural export product. In fact, the UK alone accounts for 7% of the global export market, as it imports more than 5 billion annually.
Given this relevance to global economies, experts consider it crucial to be able to predict the possible impacts of the climate crisis on banana production systems in order to ensure their long-term survival.
For Professor Bebber, the impact of the climate emergency has been "largely ignored", making it "imperative" to invest in the preparation of tropical agriculture, through, for example, "investment in technologies such as irrigation".