The Cure for Coffee Rust Disease: A Mission from A UMD Professor

Coffee rust is a serious disease. It’s been affecting economies of countries all over the world. This disease has been killing coffee crops and thus affecting the coffee production. Therefore, both small and large scale coffee producers have to do something about it.

However, combatting with this disease isn’t an easy thing to do. That’s why, Priscila Chaverri, a professor in the plant science and landscape architecture department, wants to help in finding a solution. Next fall, the students of the University of Maryland will conduct research to look for ways in solving the coffee rust diseases.

According to Chaverri, the National Science Foundation awarded her a $2 million grant, along with  two researchers at Ohio State University in September to conduct research over the course of five to six years. She will be using $720,000 of the grant to conduct her part of the research.

Chaverri’s role in this research project will allow her to go to work with Coopetarrazu, a coffee farming cooperative located in the central region of the San Marcos de Tarazzu mountains in Costa Rica, to collect the fungi and examine it in the fields and in labs at this university and Ohio State. Three students — one undergraduate and two graduate — from this university will help Chaverri conduct her research, she said.

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