Your morning caffeine fix could be in jeopardy
Farmers in Central America are battling a coffee disease that has caused more than a billion dollars in damage across the region, forcing coffee prices to rise.
The Coffee rust, known as “Roya” locally, is an airborne fungus which infects coffee plants.
It leaves their leaves with spots, and causes them to wither and fall off.
Recently coffee rust has hit Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama and Costa Rica.
The fungus first affected Central America in the 1970s.
For decades, coffee growers simply coped with disease and lower yields.
But as the rust continued to spread, farmers took action.
Some have begun replacing their old trees with new coffee plants, which better resist the fungus.
It’s expected to take two to three years before the new plants produce coffee beans.
In April, the International Coffee Organization issued a report saying coffee prices hit a two year high.
Droughts in Brazil, home to the world’s largest coffee crop, have also worried market watchers.