Coffee Pest Forces Costa Rica to Declare State of Emergency
In the country's most affected regions, 50% of this year's harvests could be lost
Following its wreaking havoc on crops in South and Central America, and in Africa, a coffee fungus know to science as Hemileia vastatrix has now made its way into Costa Rica, leaving the country's high officials with no choice except declare a state of emergency.
Nature reports that, according to Vice President Luis Liberman, as much as 50% of the 2013-2014 harvest could be lost as a result of this pest, whom locals refer to as “coffee rust.”
Specialists say that the predicted loss in coffee harvests amounts to $15 million (€11.26 million).
The state of emergency that Costa Rica now finds itself in is said to last for roughly two years. Both the country's residents and its leaders hope that, during this period, they will be able to put together a plan that will allow them to fight the fungus.
More precisely, they will have to figure out what resources they have at their disposal and how to best make use of them.