A coffee disease caused a lot of damages in Central America. Farmer are fighting against a fungus called coffee rust that has caused over $1 billion damages in Latin America.
A coffee fungus called "Rust" has proven deadly especially for the Arabica coffee beans which are used to make most high-end special coffees. This fungus has caused damages amounting to more than $1 billion in Latin America. The coffee prices are going to increase due to these damages.
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The U.S. government is trying to help farmers fight against this coffee disease as it wants to control the prices of coffee. The prices of some coffee brands have already increased due to this disease.
“We are concerned because we know coffee rust is already causing massive amounts of devastation,” said Raj Shah, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The coffee fungus rust is also called “roya” in Spanish. This fungus is highly contagious due to airborne fungal spores. It affects many types of coffee but it hit the Arabica beans really hard. And the rain makes this disease even worse.
This coffee fungus hit several brands of coffee including those found in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama and Costa Rica. The U.S. government was expected to announce a $5 million partnership with Texas A&M University’s World Coffee Research Center on Monday in order to destroy the fungus.
Actually, the U.S. government is very much concerned about the small coffee farms and their economic security. The shutdown of these farms will increase joblessness and poverty in the region. And the government does not want this.
According to Time, "Washington estimates that production could be down anywhere from 15 percent to 40 percent in coming years, and that those losses could mean as many as 500,000 people could lose their jobs. Though some countries have brought the fungus under control, many of the poorer coffee-producing countries in Latin America don’t see the rust problem getting better anytime soon."
“We don’t see an end in sight anytime soon,” said Leonardo Lombardini of Texas A&M’s World Coffee Research. However, USAID is said to work with Texas A&M in order to do some research and find preventive methods to end the rust fungus.