Tuesday 25 June 2024
  • La Cimbali

PERU – Farmers to grow coffee instead of coca

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LIMA – Peru ‘s anti-drug strategy hinges on persuading farmers to grow coffee instead of coca, the raw material of cocaine, but low prices and plant disease are getting in the way, sources say.

President Ollanta Humala’s government is allocating $35 million to help coffee growers pay off debts and cope with “la roya”, or coffee leaf rust, a stubborn fungus known as coffee rust, according to AFP.


The fungus, which creates orange spots on leaves and damages the bean, has devastated coffee plantations across Central America, Colombia and Peru this year.

Peru was hit particularly hard.

The Andean nation became the world’s leading organic producer last year and is the world’s eighth largest overall coffee producer behind Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia.


In 2012, coffee exports accounted for a full quarter — about $1 billion — of all revenue from Peru’s agricultural exports, but this year are unlikely to produce anything close to the same yield, depriving Peru of critically needed funds.


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