Venezuelan coffee growers lament lack of agchems
Venezuelan grower group Fedeagro has called on the authorities to invest in the acquisition of pesticides and other inputs “in order to save the 2015 harvest”. The association rates the situation an “emergency”. Fedeagro vice-president Aquiles Hopkins says that the priorities should include supplying the market with enough pesticides and fertiliser, as well as seeds and tractors. Media report a particular concern among coffee growers due to the spread of coffee rust (Hemileia vastatrix) and coffee borer beetles (Hypothenemus hampei). Fedeagro reports that production has more than halved in the past five years as a consequence of coffee rust. The association laments what it sees as “monopoly practices” of such supplies in Venezuela. Grower groups have generally highlighted a lack of pesticides as hindering Venezuelan agriculture in recent years.