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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fungus Creates Crisis For Coffee Growers

Luis Arieta, 79, harvests ripe coffee beans on a coffee plantation near Poas, Costa Rica, in December 2003. (Kent Gilbert/AP)

Luis Arieta, 79, harvests ripe coffee beans on a coffee plantation near Poas, Costa Rica, in December 2003. (Kent Gilbert/AP)

Coffee growers in Central America are facing a crisis because of a fungus that’s affecting the crop. The “roya” leaf rust fungus makes the plants lose their leaves and destroys some of the coffee beans.

In Guatemala, two-thirds of the coffee is affected and hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk.

The BBC’s Humphrey Hawksley reports.


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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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