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Analysis of the Coffee Rust (Hemileia Vastatrix) Outbreak 2012 in Central America
Coffee rust,Central American Countries,Economic Impact,Social Impact,
|Publication Year :||2015|
|Abstract:||Coffee in the Central American region has played an increasingly important role in their economies and societies. For that reason, we have aimed to analyze the possible causes and impacts of the coffee rust outbreak 2012 in the coffee industry in Central America. We applied a descriptive approach, which is based on secondary data sources. Some of these sources are documents and reports published by OIC, USAD, PROMOCAFE and FAO. These reports are related to the coffee sector and the coffee rust outbreak 2012 in Central America Five countries were taken into account for this research; Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Nicaragua due to their importance in Central American coffee production. Several variables were collected and analyzed, these variables were: economic impacts, social impacts, the area affected by the coffee rust, farmers with less than 10 mzs, losses value caused by the leaf rust, per capital losses, exports and exports value from the five Central America countries.
Two main causes caused this outbreak 2012 to be particularly catastrophic. (1) Climate changes: higher temperatures and high rainfall incidence for a long period triggered extensive coffee rust development and (2) declines in coffee prices in turn reduced the incentive for farmers to invest in the crop (including fungicides spraying, fertilizers applications and other cropping practices). This study also found possible reasons that influenced the coffee rust intensity in Central American countries including; cropping practices (fertilization and shade), coffee plant age and that the coffee rust has expanded at higher altitude (climate change). Which can be added to the overconfidence of the farmers and their lack of technical knowledge.
The total economic losses for the region were 2,706,454 bags of 60 kilos in production losses, with US$ 499 Millions in foreign currency losses. In 2012, Coffee participation in GDP was reduced by 1.40% in Honduras, Guatemala 0.19%, El Salvador 0.31%, Nicaragua 0.53% and Costa Rica 0.03%. The social impacts caused by the coffee rust outbreak 2012 were critically included job losses of up to 12% in the region, coffee rust affected 55% of the surface planted in Central America, more than 80% of the farmers affected were smallholder farmers that live in the poorest areas in the region, this tended to diminish their nutritional status and health and increase food insecurity in the region.
Our founding confirms countries with higher percentage of smallholder farmers had greater losses caused by the coffee rust outbreak 2012; these farmers are around 80%-96% of the total farmers in the Central America region. This is attributable to economic constrains, these smallholder farmers did not have the money to invest in the crop (Fertilization, pruning, cropping, etc.) due to the volatility in coffee prices and weak organization and structure of the coffee industry in the region.
This outbreak revealed the weaknesses in the coffee industry in Central America, which brought up topics that were already evident in the rural areas such as high poverty rates, food insecurity, illiteracy, life quality and also the inefficiency in terms of adoption and technology transfers to the farmers. Governments need to strengthen the coffee industry through more effective and sustainable policies, especially targeting smallholder farmers focusing in strategies to unify these farmers through cooperatives and/or coffee associations to reduce vulnerabilities and give them the tools to work in a sustainable way as a coffee community and become a highly competitive and profitable industry.
|Appears in Collections:||農業經濟學系|
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