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Honduras: WFP Assists Poor Farmers Affected By Coffee Rust

Symptoms of the Coffee Rust

The first symptom of the Coffee Rust are pale, yellow spots that appear on leaves. Approximately 25% of 280,000 hectares of coffee plantations have been hit by the Coffee Rust.

Yellow Spots, A Symptom Of Coffee Rust

Ernestina Martinez, a small coffee producer of Ojo de Agua, shows the typical pale, yellow spots of Coffee Rust, also known as "Roya". Through a food-for-work programme, Ernestina is clearing her farmland of infested crops and is setting up a nursery with Coffee-Rust resistant seedlings, which in 2 years will produce coffee.

The Impact of the Coffee Rust

Roger Obed Pineda, Chairman of the Ojo de Agua Rural Board, was also affected by the Coffee Rust. All 40 members of the rural board were affected by the plague.

Severe Leaf Fall and Defoliation

The disease causes severe leaf fall or defoliation and prevents berries from growing properly, thus reducing yields.

The Impact on Coffee Exports

Coffee plantations affected by the Coffee Rust in El Naranjo community, Intibucá. Approximately 62% of Honduras' annual coffee exports are affected by the Coffee Rust.

Receiving WFP Family Food Rations

A coffee producer affected by the Coffee Rust outbreak receives her WFP family food ration in El Naranjo community, Intibucá.

Distribution of WFP Food Rations

Roger Pineda (center) and Mario Lopez are the chairmen of the Rural Boards of Ojo de Agua and El Naranjo, respectively. In this photo, both farmers weigh the rice ration of coffee producer Ernestina Martinez, a widow and mother of eight children.

Heading Home with Food

A coffee farmer of the Ojo de Agua community in Intibucá loads a WFP food ration on his horse before heading back to his home and continue rehabilitating his farm land as part of the food-for-work project.

Planting 20,000 Coffee-Rust Resistant Seedlings

Besides clearing their farmlands through food-for-work activities, small coffee producer also create nurseries where they plant seedlings, such as this one. This nursery has 20,000 seedlings that are Coffee-Rust resistant. It will take at least two years for this seedlings to fully grow and produce coffee.

Food Distributions in Copan, Honduras

Besides the department of Intibucá, WFP organized distributed food rations among coffee producers in the department of Copan.

Food Rations in Exchange for Restoring Livelihoods

Some 1,400 producers in the department of Copan received their food rations as part of food-for-work activities. Food-for-work activities allows farmers and their families to receive food rations in exchange for restoring their land, planting coffee seedlings for future crops and alternative crops, such as maize.

WFP Works in 61 Municipalities

Coffee producers in the department of Copan get organized to transport family food rations to their communities. WFP signed an agreement with the Association of Honduran Coffee Producers (AHPROCAFE) and the Honduran Coffee Institute (IHCAFE) to assist the families living in 61 municipalities through food-for-work activities, which promote the rehabilitation of farmlands, and help farmers grow alternative crops.

Reaching More Than 8,300 Honduran Families

WFP Monitor Argentina Lopez meets a group of coffee producers affected by the Coffee Rust. WFP is reaching more than 8,300 families in 11 departments in need of food assistance.

Visiting Coffee Rust Affected Communities

WFP Representative in Honduras, Pasqualina Di Sirio, visited coffee plantations and small producers affected by Coffee Rust, also known as "La Roya". In this photo, Di Sirio speaks with producer Ernestina Martinez, a 52-year-old widow, who planned to migrate to find job following the loss of her coffee crops. Ernestina changed her mind after she began receiving WFP food rations as part of food-for-work activites.

A disease called Coffee Rust has hit coffee production in Honduras hard, threatening the livelihoods of thousands of coffee farmers. WFP is supporting 41,810 people affected by outbreak, using 'food-for-work' programmes which provide food while farmers work to get back on their feet.