Honduran coffee growers contend with blight, low prices

Tegucigalpa, Aug 6 (IANS/EFE) Honduran coffee growers are dealing with blight and low prices on the international market, a combination of factors that will reduce their incomes by about $600 million this year.

Many coffee farms have been affected by blight during the current harvest, which ends Sep 30.

The various problems plaguing the industry are "a bitter drink for producers, especially the smaller ones most affected" by blight and low prices, Honduran Coffee Institute, or IHCAFE, manager Victor Hugo Molina said.

Blight will reduce production by 1.5 million 100-pound sacks, Molina said.

Coffee is one of the least concentrated industries in Honduras, with more than 100,000 small-scale farmers growing the grain in the Central American country, the IHCAFE official said.

The 2012-13 harvest was expected to yield about 7.5 million sacks of coffee, generating more than $1.5 billion in revenue, officials said.

The 2011-12 harvest generated about $1.44 billion in revenue for Honduras, making coffee the Central American country's top export.

--IANS/EFE

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