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Global prices of pollination-dependent products such as coffee could rise in the long term
Date:4/27/2012

terranean countries, such as Italy or Greece, and in Africa especially the region along the Nile in Egypt. For Germany the researchers found moderate dependencies nevertheless, in Germany as well pollination is in no way immaterial.

Globally, the value of pollination-dependent agricultural products, and therefore the value of this ecosystem service, has risen continuously. This is attributable to a significant increase in production quantities for pollination-dependent crops. Since 2001 the costs of production for pollination-dependent crops have also risen significantly, indeed far faster than the prices of non-pollination-dependent field crops such as rice, grains or maize. For the researchers this is an indication that the intensification of agriculture is reflected in a global price increase for pollination-dependent cultures. When fields are sprayed with more pesticides, more fertilisers are applied and valuable agricultural structural elements, such as hedges and rows of trees, are transformed into fields, the insects vanish. Consequently, the extent of pollination is reduced, and this is reflected in higher production prices. "We see this price increase as an initial warning signal that conflicts could arise between the services of insect-related pollination and other agricultural interests", says Sven Lautenbach. For example, if such valuable habitats for insects as hedges, rows of trees or field margin structures continue to disappear and be transformed into agricultural areas or residential areas in the countries in which production takes place, in future the prices for coffee and cocoa will likely rise in future.

According to the calculations of the researchers, a potential decline of pollination could particularly affect those countries in which pollination-dependent crops or cultures represent a substantial part of the gross domestic product from agriculture. This includes, for example, Argentina, Belgium, China, Ghana, Honduras, the Ivory C
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Contact: Tilo Arnhold
presse@ufz.de
49-341-235-1635
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

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