The Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza in Costa Rica is participating in a program to fight roya de cafe, the disease that has cut Central American and Domincan Republic coffee production by 2.7 million sacks, according to the Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura.
The European Union is helping with financing, said the institute. Roya de cafe (Hemileia vastatrix), is known as coffee rust in Engish. The current outbreak is the worst seen in Central America and Mexico since the fungal disease arrived in the region more than 40 years ago. Guatemala has joined Honduras and Costa Rica in declaring national emergencies over the disease.
The agricultural institute estimates that 20 percent of the annual coffee crop has been lost. The project is for five years.
The proposal is to put into practice methods of adaptation, mitigation and reduction of risk, said the institute.