Honduras -Central America’s biggest coffee producer and second-biggest exporter of high-quality Arabica beans – coffee is affected with new destructive leaf fungus known as Roya.
Major Honduras Coffee associations said – Roya could damage the next Honduran coffee harvest if preventative measures are not taken against it quickly.
Coffee growers recently detected the new roya strain in the IHCAFE-90 and Parainema seed varieties, which together with the Lempira were sown in 65 percent of the country to resist the fungus that has hit recent harvests.
Roya had already been detected in Lempira
“If they don’t take urgent action, the damage could be incalculable. This is a more virulent and lethal strain for coffee plants than the ones previously in the country” -Asterio Reyes ,president of coffee growers.
Coffee industry officials are worried that agricultural workers could spread the fungus from infected plantations to other areas in fallowing season which runs from October through September.
Reports said the fungus has attacked plantations in eight of the 15 departments where coffee is grown in Honduras, but does not have an estimate for the number of hectares affected.
Honduras coffee have also been affected by roya fungus infestation in 2012 that had a lasting impact on the harvest.
Honduras has forecast 7.2 million 60-kg bags of coffee in the 2016/17 harvest which continues to recover from the effects of the previous roya outbreak.