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Costa Rica squares up to coffee pest

Costa Rica has enacted emergency legislation after becoming the latest country to fall victim to the coffee destroying fungus Hemileia vastatrix.

Vice president Luis Liberman announced the move on Tuesday as the national coffee institute ICAFE warned that half the 2013-14 harvest could be lost in the worst affected areas.

H. vastatrix
, which causes ‘coffee rust’, has devastated crops in South and Central America and Africa, and is thought to be the major economic threat to coffee growers worldwide.

The emergency decree will last for two years and allows the government and other bodies to provide money and resources to fighting the pest.

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    David Noel said:

    Isn’t “the coffee destroying fungus Hemileia vastatrix” mostly a problem with Arabica coffee, Coffea arabica? I seem to remember that Robusta coffee, Coffea robusta, has much better Hemileia resistance, yes or no? Short term alleviation by grafting over to Robusta, longer term by breeding Hemilea-resistant coffee hybrids?

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