Peru Extends State of Emergency to Help Coffee Growers

LIMA, Peru–Peru’s government on Tuesday extended a state of emergency aimed at helping coffee growers deal with a plant-eating fungus that has affected about a quarter of the nation’s production.

The state of emergency was extended for 60 days in 11 coffee-growing regions, including Cusco, Junin and San Martin. A supreme decree published on Tuesday said that government agencies “will carry out the immediate and necessary actions to control the spread of [the roya disease].”

Coffee growers in Peru have said the roya disease, which has also affected crops in other Latin American countries, has been due to climate changes and the inadequate use of fertilizers.

Peru’s National Coffee Chamber said late last month that about 2 million quintals–or 46,000 bags–of coffee have been lost due to the outbreak. It said that more than 1,000 coffee producers have lost their entire harvest for this year, while thousands more have been affected.

Prior to the roya outbreak, the group had projected that Peru would produce 7.5 million quintals of coffee this year.

The coffee chamber said the government’s initial reaction to the outbreak has been “disorganized” and called on authorities to provide more funds to replace coffee crops.

Peru is one of the world’s top 10 coffee producers.

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