"As Central American coffee growers are staggered by a spreading fungal disease, the price and availability of good coffee hangs in the balance."
"Ricardo Puente is a worried man.
The president of Apecafe in El Salvador, a cooperative formed in 1997 to represent more than 400 coffee farmers, Puente has had a front-row seat to “la roya,” the fungus that is devastating coffee plantations across Central America.
“We think outbreaks of violence and famine can occur in some cooperatives as a result of this situation,” Puente said in a recent interview from San Salvador, where Apecafe is headquartered. “The other issue is migration. People are going to want to move to the United States and other countries where they can find food. We place a great deal of importance on treating roya to end all the negative effects of the disease. They are catastrophic. People suffer a great deal.”"