Guatemala’s coffee industry started to develop in the 1850s. Back then, the growing industry provided jobs for the farmers and slowly started to boost their economy.
After a few decades, they started to experience a lot of coffee growing issues. Both small scale farmers and huge plantations tried their best to solve all these coffee issues. However, in 1979 to 1981, they saw signs of the coffee rust disease. Unlike the other coffee growing issues, this problem had a huge impact in the whole coffee industry. Since coffee is an important element in Guatemala’s economy, the government tried their best to minimize and get rid of the disease.
Despite the coffee rust disease, Guatemala became Central America’s top coffee producer in most of the 20th and 21st century.
In 2011, the devastating coffee rust epidemic came back to Guatemala once again. Their reign of being Central America’s top coffee producer ended and Honduras took over their spot in the same year.
In the first six months of 2014, the coffee rust disease has robbed Guatemala of 90,000 coffee sector jobs in the regions that border Mexico.
Overall, Guatemala can produce 240,000 metric tons of coffee every single year.