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    A Radio Soap Opera Aims to Fight Coffee Disease

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – A soap opera that features a coffee producing family has played an important role in reaching small farmers in remote areas of Central America. The soap opera aims at informing farmers of the plague of rust that affects the region, as well as explaining how to combat it.

    The radio drama “About a cup of coffee”, released on August 9, revolves around the Martínez Fernández family, which is dedicated to coffee production and nearly loses their crops due to rust, a fungus that affects plants and causes early fall of the fruit.

    In the final chapters the family explains the importance of  applying good techniques to combat rust and have a healthy and productive coffee plantation. So far Honduras and El Salvador are the countries where the soap opera has been more successful.

    This initiative began in early 2013 as part of the actions of the Central American governments in collaboration with IICA, in order to combat the worst plague of rust in the history of the region.

    The program was produced by IICA and the Regional Cooperative Program for the Technological Development and Modernization of Coffee (PROMECAFE).

    The plague of coffee rust caused losses of nearly 550 million dollars (407 million euros) in Central America and the loss of 441,000 jobs in the 2012-2013 season, according to estimates in a report by the International Coffee Organization (ICO).

    Rust and other diseases will damage 20% of the coffee production in Central America in the 2012 -2013 cycle, according to estimates by the Central Organization of Exporters. However, the rust has been controlled in all of Central America and is now in its normal level. ACAN-EFE

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose. Costa Rica

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