Why Coffee Farmers are Real Heroes

Next to water, coffee is the most popular drink all over the world with over 10 million
tons of coffee every year. According to the International Coffee Organization (ICO), it is
the world’s most widely traded tropical agricultural commodity. Statistics show that there
around 70 countries that produce coffee.

Majority of coffee production comes from small coffee farmers. In a world where
population is increasing in a fast pace that many people are facing good quality food
supply crisis, these farmers play a truly vital role.

World coffee consumption trends are continually rising over the years according to the
data from ICO. If this continues, the production must also adapt. Resources,
technologies and products for better coffee production should be made available to
farmers to improve coffee production.

In the coffee production, there are several challenges:

 Pests, diseases and fungi

These are real threats to many coffee producers. La roya or coffee leaf rust is
one of the most devastating disease that affects coffee plantations worldwide.
This is brought by a fungus called Hemileia vastatrix that feeds on coffee leaves
in order to survive.

 Climate change

One inevitable challenge is the changes in the environment. Farmers have to
face this however. They need to increase their production during harvest season
to cover the costs that they have spent throughout the year.

 Shortage on Manpower

Coffee pickers and farmers are getting hard to find. Coffee needs to be picked
when they are ripe enough. It would be impossible to have enough coffee if we
don’t have enough workers.

Coffee farmers are indeed important in the coffee industry. They are key to the
continuity of coffee production. Without them, drinking coffee could turn into an
expensive luxury. It is important therefore that farmers get the access to all the
information, researches and products so that they could effectively reduce production
costs, increase crop yield and income.

Steps to Prevent Agricultural Pests and Diseases

The number one concern in growing crops is the maintenance of pests and diseases.

This is the reason why crop protection methods are continuously evolving over time. On
the other hand, there are practices that you can do that will significantly prevent the
build-up of pests and diseases.

Continue reading for some steps in preventing pests and diseases among your plants.

 Clear your garden.

Don’t leave decaying vegetation or plant debris lying around your garden or field.

This provides the perfect place for plant pests and diseases to thrive in. Also,
after harvest or during transitions between growing seasons, make sure to clear
your field of any unwanted debris. You may want to have proper composting
environment placed nearby.

 Make sure that all your tools and containers are properly disinfected.

Plant disease can be highly contagious from plant to plant. Using the same tools,
containers and even human hands can transfer disease-carrying organisms from
a sick plant to a healthy plant. To avoid this from happening, you need to be
careful in cleaning and disinfecting everything that you use when handling plants.

 Watch out for infested plants.

If you have spotted infested plants in the lot, be keen in treating them as well as
the plants near them. You may want to isolate the infested plants while being
treated. Assess the condition of these sick plants. If needed, these plants should
be removed rather than risk the other healthy plants to be infested as well.

 Apply crop protection products.

There are so many products in the market that can effectively protect your plants.
Make sure to choose the right product for your plants. Be sure to read the labels
to effectively use these products. Many choose safe and effective organic
products for their crops.

The Role of Fungicides in Agriculture

Fungicides are substances that are used to eliminate fungi, fungal spores and infections. In the
market today, there are natural fungicides and chemical fungicides available.

The leading cause of crop damage across the globe are fungal pathogens. These pose serious
risk and damage in agriculture which results to major losses of yield and profits to famers. It can
have a huge impact on the economy since the supply of food is affected as well.

Fungicides are used to manage bacterial and fungal diseases among crops. These diseases
tend to be a common occurrence on plants. To negate its impact on quality and yield of crops,
quality fungicides are used.

The presence of fungi can affect plants in different ways. Therefore, there can be different types
of fungicides depending on the application. There are:

1. Fungicides that control disease during the growth of crops.

2. Fungicides that increase productivity of a crop.

3. Fungicides that improve the storage life and quality of harvested plants and produce.

You can find specific fungicides for each of these applications. However, you can also find a
fungicide that can be applied for all these uses. More farmers are now considering organic or
biofungicides. These are more harmless and more effective in the long run.

In disease management, fungicides also play a vital part. They control a range of diseases
satisfactorily.

These fungicides are applied before a plant disease occurs. Do note that fungicides are not able
to fix a plant disease once it has already infested on the plants. They only protect healthy plants.
The best thing about using fungicides is that it targets specific pathogens. This means the
potential for toxicity among humans and other helpful organisms is reduced.

When used properly and strategically, fungicides can be key to plant disease management and
production of high quality crops and increased yield.

Agricultural Pest Control Methods

Pest control is the management of a certain species that are defined as pest due to its
threats to the health of humans, ecology or the economy.

In agriculture, the main goal of pest control is to protect crops by reducing the levels of
the attacking of pests.

In the protection of crops, there are many different methods to utilize in order to control
and manage plant diseases. Farmers need to implement these methods to ensure the
quality of produce.

1. Biological Pest Control

By using this approach, pests are controlled by using other organisms. This
method depends on predation, parasitism and other natural processes. This
makes use of the idea of introducing the natural enemies of the pests to be
eliminated.

This method is useful and is often used by most farmers. It’s considered to be a
significant component of pest control and management.

2. Chemical Control

This method involves the use of chemical pesticides. These chemical pesticides
are utilized to prevent, repel or destroy pests. There are different types of
pesticides depending on the application.

There are insecticides made for controlling of insects and fungicides which are
used to manage fungal diseases in plants.

It is important to choose the right type and formulation of pesticides. They should
not harm the pests’ natural enemies. Over time, the effectiveness of chemical
pesticides decrease due to organisms becoming immune to them.

3. Plant Quarantine

Another way of controlling pests is by isolating diseased plants from the healthy
ones. The infested plants are either destroyed or kept for treatment or studying.
This prevents the introduction and spread of harmful pests and pathogens.

There are many other ways to protect crops. These are just some of the methods that
are used today. For better results, some may use these methods in combination
depending on the circumstances.