If you are a coffee person and you are actually reading this, appreciate your next cup of coffee. As much as you always get that coffee you crave forever. There might come a time that coffee won’t be easy to avail.
Unfortunately, it’s not just us people who love coffee. Over the recent years, coffee rust or “Roya” in Spanish, has been a plague in Central and South American coffee farms. They are notorious coffee-eating plant pathogens that messes up the healthy growth of plants. These have airborne spores making it really a pain to control. Once it has infiltrated your field of coffee, brace yourself for the worst.
What CLR does is that it attacks the leaves of the coffee plant, disabling it to photosynthesize efficiently. No photosynthesis means no more coffee beans.
To orient you and give you a glimpse of this issue, we have gathered here a few facts about coffee leaf rust.
1. Colombia’s primary coffee crop, the Coffea Arabica, which accounts for 70% of all the world’s coffee has been devastated by this Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR). The Colombian government has spent over $1 billion over the last three years to address this issue.
2. Drinking a cup of coffee affected by CLR is like drinking a wood flavored drink. Yes, I hate to break it to you but…
3. CLR has caused Guatemala to have 40 % less coffee production last year.
4. The affected region in Central and South America is the same size as Europe. Imagine that! That is a whopping 10 million sq. kilometers.
5. Coffee leaf rust has been a really serious problem that coffee farmers weigh between investing in its mitigation of feeding their families.
Fortunately, the race has started to develop solutions to cure or prevent coffee plants from CLR. Some have been also developing coffee that has enough genetic diversity and resistance to beat these CLR once and for all.