Recently, a group of scientists conducting researches and studies about coffee rust found out something that can possibly help all coffee producers all over the world. The researchers from the University of Exeter discovered that climate change is not the main cause of the devastating coffee rust disease.
Throughout these years, we all thought that this epidemic coffee disease is caused by the changes in our weather. Apparently, this new study shows signs that weather isn’t the main cause of coffee rust.
Published in the Philosophical Transactions B, the paper states: “We find no evidence for an overall trend in disease risk in coffee-growing regions of Colombia from 1990 to 2015, therefore, while weather conditions were more conducive to disease outbreaks from 2008 to 2011, we reject the climate change hypothesis.” Read More here.
Upon examining the coffee rust disease in Colombia from 2008 to 2011, researchers concluded that the coffee rust disease can be caused by multiple factors like the rise and fall of the fertilizer price, and the frequent weather changes.
This recent discovery is both good news and bad news to all coffee producers all over the world.
It’s good news because since the epidemic is not solely caused by weather changes, we can still find more ways to get rid of this problem.
On the other hand, this discovery is also bad news because it means that we need to start all over again and it requires more in-depth research to know how we can fully get rid of this epidemic.
A few weeks ago, researchers from the University of Arizona said that they were able to develop a new method to neutralize a dangerous toxin caused by fungi, that can lead to childhood stunting, cancer, and other health problems. These researchers made a genetically modified, edible maize plant, even when infected with a mould that produces a carcinogenic substance called aflatoxin. ROME – Scientists said on Friday they had developed a new method to neutralize a dangerous fungal toxin affecting crops that can lead to cancer, childhood
Every year, more than 16,000 tons of maize are being thrown because of aflatoxin contamination. In most developed countries, they are able to screen their crops. However, some small farmers do not have the technology to do so. Therefore, people are consuming unknown levels of these dangerous toxins.
This latest research found out that a Trojan Horse molecule can jump onto the fungus and shuts down its aflatoxin production.
In a study published in the journal Science Advances, Schmidt and her team said they had created a genetically engineered maize plant, which produces a “Trojan horse” molecule that jumps onto the fungus and shuts down its aflatoxin production.
Schmidt said the method should be transferable to other crops prone to aflatoxin contamination, like rice, soy and peanuts, as it exploits a naturally occurring biological mechanism known as RNA interference.
Recently, an international team of University of California researchers has publicly released the first public genome sequence of Arabica coffee.
The genome was sequenced from a remarkable variety called Geisha.
“The variety Geisha originates from the mountains of the western Ethiopian provinces of Maji and Goldija, near the town of Geisha, and is a selection known for its unique aromatic qualities,” the researchers explained.
“The new genome sequence for Coffea arabica contains information crucial for developing high-quality, disease-resistant coffee varieties that can adapt to the climate changes that are expected to threaten global coffee production in the next three decades,” explained co-author Dr. Juan Medrano, from the University of California, Davis.
“We hope that the Coffea arabica sequence will eventually benefit everyone involved with coffee — from coffee farmers, whose livelihoods are threatened by devastating diseases like coffee leaf rust, to coffee processors and consumers around the world.”
The coffee rust epidemic problem has reached a lot of countries in Africa, Asia, and in Southern and Central America. Coffee plantations failed to produce as much crops as they need for commercial growth. Thus, thousands of workers were laid off because of this epidemic disease.
The effects of the 2002 – 2003 Coffee Rust Outbreak are:
The devastating effects of the coffee leaf rust epidemic have reached different countries all over Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. Aside from thousands of people losing their jobs, coffee plantations end up losing millions of dollars.
Eliminating the harmful effects of this disease is not impossible. However, it is challenging. Recently, we released CR-10, which is a coffee rust control fungicide. a coffee rust treament… or even better: a coffee rust solution! The active ingredientl is designed to attack the fungi and get rid of the harmful effects of the rust to the coffee leaves.
The CR-10 works faster compared to other fungicides
Eliminating coffee rust is our main goal. We want to help in saving the coffee plantations and somehow improving the commercial coffee economic status of the affected countries. Upon application, farmers can already see the effect of CR-10 on coffee rust after 48 hours.
The CR-10 only requires 2 to 3 applications
This fungicide works faster and better. Therefore, it only takes 2 to 3 applications to work. According to our own research, farmers had to do 4 to 12 applications using other products. With the CR-10, you can save money on labor and get better results faster than other fungicides.
The CR-10 is 100% Safe.
We always do our best to create products that are safe not only for us people but also to animals and to our environment. The CR-10 is 100% safe. It is biodegradable and non-toxic (when used at recommended dilution).
We made sure that our product is people friendly and environment-friendly as well. You have to make sure that you will use it at the level of dilution we recommend.
Guatemala is one of the countries in Central America affected by the coffee rust disease. In fact, the country declared coffee rust a national emergency in 2013. The coffee production was massively decreased from 2,500,000 lbs of coffee in 2012 to 1,000,000 lbs by the end of 2013.
The coffee rust epidemic has been a major issue not only in Guatemala but in all affected countries. Millions of farmers already lost their jobs and spent a lot of money in pesticides hoping to minimize the effects of the disease.
Guatemalan based organizations like the Coffee Trust are working with small-scale farmers to improve their livelihood. They also need help in establishing food sovereignty in the region that has been solely dependent upon coffee, their cash crop.
Recently, $onov CEO Jean Ekobo visited Guatemala to have a meeting with the chemical distributors in the country and to let them know about CR-10 and what it can do to help eliminating coffee rust.
He shared his experience in Guatemala in our Twitter account. See his images below:
The coffee rust epidemic has reached a lot of countries all over the world and has been a major problem and threat to coffee plantations all over the world. The rust organism mainly attacks the leaves (though in some rare instances the rust was found on fruits and young stems.). The coffee rust is usually manifested by chlorotic young lessions or pale yellow spots before the sporulation is evident. The sports vary in shapes and sizes.
This epidemic was first recorded in 1861. A British explorer discovered the development of coffee leaf rust in the Lake Victoria region in Kenya. In 1869, the cultivated coffee industry in Sri Lanka was attacked by this virus and their coffee industry suffered for 10 long years.
In 1920, the spread of the coffee leaf rust has reached most African and Asian countries during the sprout of their commercial grown coffee.
The epidemic in Brazil started in 1972. Soon, it affected the countries in Southern and Central America.
The Effects of Coffee Rust to Coffee Plantations
The amount of rust in the current year highly affects the reduced size of vegetative growth and berry growth.
Coffee rust is associated with defoliation. The strong sink of the berries’ carbohydrate can cause shoots and roots to starve and die. With that being said, the number of nodes on which coffee will be produced next year will be reduced.
The production of coffee for the following year is produced this season. Thus, the top and shoot dieback caused by the coffee rust will seriously reduce the following season’s crop.
A research conducted by Kushalappa and Eskes in 1989 estimates the total losses caused by leaf rust is between 30 to 80%.
The total average losses per year is believed to be about 15%.
Coffee rust is one of the most leading problems in the coffee industry all over the world. Affected countries struggle in looking for ways to eliminate this devastating problem.
In fact, coffee rust highly affects a country’s industry especially those that mainly depend on their coffee industry. With that being said, the government and huge companies spend millions of dollars to get rid of this problem. In fact, thousands of farmers lose their jobs because of this.
If the government itself and some huge companies are already having a hard time, how much more for those small coffee producers?
Small farmers depend on their coffee crops for their living. So, when signs of coffee rust start to show, they know that they need to find a way to contain this epidemic.
Aside from the government’s continued support, small farmers also get help from co-op organizations. These organizations support the farmers by providing them financial assistance and helping them in looking for solutions.
Oikocredit is a cooperative itself, headquartered in the Netherlands but operating across the world with a focus on social impact investing and capacity building in low-income countries.
It provides loans and equity to mid-stage, revenue-generating cooperatives, fair trade organisations and small-to-medium- sized enterprises operating in financial inclusion, agriculture and renewable energy sectors in Africa, Asia, Latin America and cental and eastern Europe.
With more than 2.25 billion cups of coffee being consumed on a daily basis, there’s no doubt that the coffee industry is at its finest. In fact, the industry is worth 19 Billion dollars worldwide.
However, a recent study called A Brewing Storm showed that the coffee production could drop by 50 percent in a few decades if we don’t take the necessary actions. The study shows that climate change would result to supply shortage and thus, price increase.
“We’re fearful that by 2050, we might see as much as a 50 per cent decline in productivity and production of coffee around the world, which is not so good,” said Molly Harriss Olson, the chief executive of Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand, which commissioned the report.
The coffee industry has to be prepared for the possibilities of losing half of its potential in the coming years. Though we can’t really control the climate change, they need to figure out a way to continue meeting the demand.