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Costa Rica: Emergency Decree on Coffee Rust

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Public and private institutions have been empowered to provide financial resources and all kinds of help to the state phytosanitary service in order to handle the emergency.

A statement from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock reads:

EMERGENCY PHYTOSANITARY DECREE DECLARED TO AID COFFEE PRODUCERS

Decree will expedite procedures for disease control

-State of emergency will be extended for two years or until the disease is under control
-Up to 50% of the next crop could be lost in the worst affected areas

The President-in-Office, Luis Liberman and Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Gloria Abraham, with the promptness required by the plight of coffee growers, signed on Tuesday January 22, 2013 an National Emergency Phytosanitary Decree because of Epiphytia and severe damage caused by rust, which enables streamlining of actions to address the atypical attack of this coffee pest.

Rust is a disease caused by the fungus Hemileia vastatrix, which infects the leaves of the coffee plant. The infection causes premature leaf drop, and if there are attacks by insects, poor fertilization and poor growing conditions, the trees are under continuous stress and imbalance which will affect production. When the level of attack increases, it causes abnormal maturation, loss quality of and falling the fruit. It also weakens the plant which could force pruning in order to renew productivity.

With the enactment of this Act the power is given to public or private companies, or semi-autonomous bodies, corporations, municipalities, any entity or public body to donate, transfer and provide economic resources within its legal framework, and to provide all type of help and cooperation to the state phytosanitary service in order to deal with this emergency. The application of resources devoted to the care and management of this emergency will be in accordance with a procedure called ” Atención de Emergencias Fitosanitarias de Plagas” (Emergency Care for Phytosanitary Pests)” or OR-RN-PO-06 approved by the State Phytosanitary Service.

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