A rise in average temperatures by just two degrees centigrade would wipe out coffee in Uganda and other East African countries that depend on coffee as a key export, a climate expert has warned.
The Deputy commissioner of meteorology, Philip Gwage, told Reuters news agency that coffee-growing areas would be drastically reduced to less than a tenth of their current size (in hectares),if there is an increase in temperatures by two degrees centigrade.
Higher temperatures are expected to cause drastic weather changes in many parts of the world, with most getting hotter.
Gwage added that it would be the same for other East African coffee growers, but not top producer, Ethiopia, whose high altitude would keep the climate cool.
Coffee is Uganda's top export. The country has become a key player in the production of Robusta after a political crisis in former top African producer, Ivory Coast, cut production.
It is the continent's second biggest grower after Ethiopia, which produces the highland Arabica variety. Output is forecast at 2.7 million 60-kg bags in 2006/7.
Uganda's fertile central areas enjoy good rains and mild temperatures, despite being near the equator, because of an elevation to more than 1,000 meters above the sea level. Gwage however warns that this is bound to change because of global warming.
Scientists at a UN panel on climate change in Kenya last month predicted that the world would warm up by between 1.8 and 5.4 degrees C on average by the end of the century, largely as a result of human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.