Coffee blight takes a bite out of El Salvador's economy

El Salvador is in the coffee harvest season, and the news is not good.    The coffee rust blight which afflicts coffee farms throughout the country has led to a dramatic drop in coffee exports.  According to published reports, El Salvador received  40% less coffee export income in October/November than in the same period one year ago, reflecting lower coffee prices and an 18% reduction in volume of exports.

Last week El Salvador's National Assembly finally established a fund for combating the coffee blight known as "la roya" and the ministry of agriculture declared an agricultural emergency.  

Annually coffee accounts for tens of thousands of jobs in El Salvador.    With job losses in the coffee growing areas, rural poverty will increase and there will be migration into the cities or out of the country.

Interested in more general information about the coffee industry in El Salvador?  The PROCAFE Foundation has made this English language overview of El Salvador's coffee industry available on the web.


Carlos X. said…
In the 1970s, El Salvador was the third largest coffee exporter in the world and the first in productivity. (Source: The Coffee Culture by Ian Newton.) Coffee was everywhere. I grew up in a modest middle class home with a small plot of land in San Salvador (which is not the most ideal location for growing coffee) in the 70s and, at least in the early days, the production from the few coffee plants in our land was sufficient to require the use of seasonal agricultural workers to come cut the beans. I had coffee put in my bottled milk as an infant growing up! Coffee is still a way for El Salvador to pursue economic growth, and planting the soil may have additional benefits, such as preventing erosion and helping to ward against the dangers from so much flooding and rains.
Unknown said…
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Coffee Vending Machine
Hodad said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hodad said…
yes it is bad, and a shame, neem tree seed oil may be a solution, now that India and ES are trading partners and neem can be grown in ES