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How Coffee Rust Affects The Coffee Industry Worldwide

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%.

 

How Farmers and Small Coffee Producers Fight Coffee Rust

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.

Learn more about it here.

Report shows that climate change could cut coffee production by 50 percent in 2050

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.

Read more about it here.

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.

New Coffee Rust Attack in Costa Rica – ICafé Report (08/2016) to All the Costa Rican Coffee Growers

Icafé, and its Research department “Cicafé”, just published their brand new report on coffee rust, in August 2016.

Since the media are very quiet about coffee rust these days, we thought we would publish the National Coffee Association’s information.

The document is in Spanish. We will translate it, yet wanted to post it as soon as we received it.
Click on the link or on the picture to open the document.

 

Sistema de Alerta y Recomendación temprana para el combate de la Roya Cicafe

 

CicafeReport0816
Coffee Rust Report from Cicafé, the Research Department of Icafé, Costa Rica.

Distribution of Coffee Rust (Infographics)

world_countries_coffee rust

Coffee is the most important agricultural product in agricultural trade. There are different types of coffee plant diseases, but by far, coffee rust is the most economically important int the world. It was the main reason why countries like El Salvador lost 50% of their job opportunities in the coffee sector in 2011.

In Central America, 70% of its total coffee fields was affected by coffee rust. This led to devastating results like reduced yields, massive economic damage, loss of about 500,000 coffee-related jobs, and about $1 billion in revenue.

Coffee Rust Timeline:

1861 – The signs of coffee rust was seen in Ethiopia, the origin of coffea Arabica. By then, they didn’t know about the disease yet and didn’t have a name for it.

1867 – Coffee rust was seen in Sri Lanka.

1888 – The epidemic started in neighboring Asian countries like Brunei and Malaysia.

1892 – The disease reached Papua New Guinea.

1904 – 1906 – Coffee rust fungi also reached Madagascar and spread the outbreak on its coffee fields.

1910 – The outbreak reached Congo Republic, Angola, Zambia, and other neighboring countries.

1913 – It reached the African continent.

1945 – The disease went back to Asia and affected India, Thailand, and Bangladesh.

1951 – 66 – The devastating results of the coffee rust disease were suffered by the rest of the African continent.

1972 – The first appearance of the coffee rust disease was recorded in Brazil.

1976 – It affected other European countries like Honduras, Guatamela, Ecuador, and Colombia. These countries aren’t that big, but coffee is one of their main products.

1978 -83 – The disease reached Peru.

1979 -81 – The coffee rust disease affected the coffee plants in Mexico.

The spread of this fungal disease didn’t stop there. In 2011, the prices of coffea Arabica dropped massively because of the disease.

 

Coffee Rust Impact & Solutions by Anacafé, Coffee Trade Association from Guatemala

Interesting point of View on…

coffee rust solutions, coffee rust treatments, in Guatemala where coffee growers saw their productions decrease by 40% since 2012.

The 2016 reality is that people are still researching to find new coffee rust treatments, because the solutions found so far are not effective enough.
Planting GMO rust-resistant trees has been shown to be very expensive ($1 per tree, and NO PRODUCTION for three to four years), the flavor of the specialty coffee seems to be hard to maintain with a half-Robusta/half-Arabica tree, and very often Specialty coffee growers would rather keep their old varieties and find a treatment for the coffee trees that allows them to KEEP the trees… That’s where CR-10 may be a great organic coffee rust control solution.

Infographics: World Map of Countries’ and Their Coffee Production

world_countries_coffee-production-small

 

Here’s the world map with countries and their level of their coffee productions.

It shows the type of coffee that grows in each country and how many 60-kg bags a country and total metric tons of coffee a country can produce in each year. As you can see, most countries can produce both coffee cancephora and coffea arabica. However, there are still some countries which produce coffea arabica  or coffea cancephora solely.

Brazil is the largest coffee producer of both coffea cancephora and coffea arabica. They produce 2,720.520 metric tons of coffee every year. The country is known for their high quality coffee seeds and is a massive source of organic coffee worldwide.

Brazil is followed by India, which is one of the biggest coffee producers in Asia. They produce 300,300 metric tons of coffee every single year.

Meanwhile, the known leading producers of coffea arabica are Peru, Ethiopia, Bolivia, Colombia, and Mexico.

Mexico, El Salvador, & More — Coffee Rust in the World

An interesting point of view from an Expert in the Coffee Industry.

Coffee Rust in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala,…

Watch Renaud Cuchet, Manager of EFICO Central America SA, based in Guatemala, yet doing business globally in the coffee industry, and discover which countries suffered the most from coffee rust, which one is getting out of it, and why countries outside of Central America and Mexico (in Asia for instance) seem to be less affected by coffee rust.

This video was filmed in July 2016.

Fighting Coffee Rust In Guatemala – July 2016

Here is a short yet powerful testimonial from an Agronomic Engineer working for the largest Cooperative of Coffee Growers in Guatemala.

He and his team of professionals fight coffee rust in GUatemala and help coffee growers “in the trenches”.

Watch him share the impact of the rust these past few years.  — Impressive numbers!

 

A Coffee Grower in Costa Rica

Eliecer Corrales Mora shares with us how climate change and coffee rust have changed its life, and business.

Not a CEO in the Coffee Industry, but an Expert in the field (– literally!),  Eliecer, whose family has been growing coffee for three generations or more, tells it like it is:

YES, coffee rust and climate change are devastating. It IS a FACT that no one can deny!

Enjoy this poignant testimonial captured by Jean Ekobo in 2016.