Sun Or Shade Grown Coffee Essay

1851 words - 7 pages

According to the International Coffee Organization, “The global spread of coffee growing and drinking began in the Horn of Africa, where, according to legend, coffee trees originated in the Ethiopian province of Kaffa ”("The Story Of Coffee"). Then, it was from this Ethiopian plateau the original shade grown coffee found its way to the Middle East, Europe, and rest of the world through trade and colonization. And, since then the demand of coffee has been rapidly growing along with the rise in global trade, economics, and population to this modern era where coffee has become the second most wanted commodity just after crude oil making a multi-billion dollars coffee industry. Unfortunately, the rise in the demand of coffee has not meant to raise the production level of coffee through its traditional holistic way of shade-grown coffee – where coffee plants are grown beneath the canopy of tropical forests which in turn helps the natural environment in many ways– but rather many industries have developed and adopted new sun coffee varieties – where monoculture coffee farms are made out of coffee plants, made tolerable to sunlight and are grown in large acres while destroying tropical forests along with the natural habitat of many other plants, animals, insects, and birds – in order to produce large scales of coffee. So, this new system of cultivating sun-grown coffee although yields, “three times more coffee than a shade bush annually” however it is not a better alternative to the age old shade grown coffee system which originated in the continent of Africa, as this sun grown coffee system causes various environmental problems like loss of habitats for bird and animal species and soil erosion through deforestation and the use of chemical fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides whereas the shade grown coffee plants are easy to maintain and provides home to plants and animals ("Shade vs.Sun Grown Coffee").
With the introduction of coffee hybrids in the 1970s many coffee industries started moving from the shade-grown coffee to the sun grown coffee system to gain more profit by producing more coffee as the demand was also rising. As, sun grown coffee plants produced thrice the amount of coffee as usual the industries fulfilled the consumer demand while at the same time their business grew bigger with the growth of this new system of cultivation. However this economical sun grown system does not tries to acknowledge the fact that it is vital for the natural cycle of dependence of different plants, animals, and birds in order for the survival of each other like the shade grown system does. First of all sun grown coffee system starts with cutting down of all the shade trees followed by the cultivation of hybrid sunlight tolerable coffee seeds to form a monoculture system in a pre- existing highly diverse shade coffee farm. As a result of the lack of the varieties of trees and plants this type of plantation would not attract many insects,...

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