Saturday, September 28, 2013

Coffee blight imperils 50,000 families

According to a report in La Prensa Grafica, the World Food Program is forecasting that as many as 50,000 Salvadoran families face hunger in coming months because of the impact of coffee leaf rust, known as "roya" in Spanish.  

The disease which attacks the foliage on coffee trees has affected as much as 74% of the coffee growing areas of the country.  Coffee farm owners are expected to hire 30% fewer workers for the harvest, and they will harvest fewer coffee beans.   The total harvest is expected to be down as much as 50-60%.   The Salvadoran coffee industry is also being hurt by a significant fall in the world price for coffee.  For those Salvadoran families for whom working in the coffee fincas is a significant part of annual income, the impact of roya and lower prices will be less food on the table and hunger in the home.

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