Lawmakers vote to issue bonds to help coffee growers

Lawmakers voted Tuesday in the second and final round to issue bonds to help beleaguered coffee growers.

At the same time, Casa Presidencial said it would send a budget change to lawmakers that would provide 20 billion colons to come to the aid of coffee growers.

The coffee farmers are battling the roya de cafe or coffee rust that drastically cuts harvest and may kill plants. In addition to the $20 million promised by Casa Presidencial, the lawmaker empowered the Minsterio de Hacienda to issue $40 million in bonds and opened the way for donations and other sources of money for a trust fund.

Pérez Zeledón and Coto Brus are the cantons most affected by the disease. About 60,000 hectares (about 148,264 acres) are involved, and the disease keeps spreading.

The money will go to replantings and spraying against the fungus.

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