Azernews.az reports that...
Teodomiro Melendres Ojeda, an organic coffee grower in Cajamarca, Peru, stands at a crossroads. Neither path is attractive.
Leaf-rust fungus, known as roya in Spanish, has devastated about a third of his crop. Melendres, 48, can use chemicals to kill it, though he risks forfeiting his organic certification and the 10 percent price premium it brings. Or he can preserve the certification and watch his plants die.
“We coffee producers are living between a rock and a hard place,” Melendres said.
Global warming has been a friend to the fungus, enabling it to thrive in elevations that used to be inhospitable. The worst worldwide outbreak in 30 years has meant diminished yields, lower income and laid-off workers from Peru to Mexico. Organic growers face additional loss as they look for ways to save their livelihoods while at the same time avoiding chemical solutions.