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Coffee, rust and food sovereignty

GardenDrum

GardenDrum

October 17, 2013

Photo by Smartse Hemileia_vastatrix_-_coffee_leaf_rust

Coffee crops in Guatemala are suffering badly from fungal rust with many farmers facing impossible bills if they choose to spray with chemicals, plus the worry of other consequences. Or can food sovereignty show them a new way of farming?

This article in The Guardian outlines the difficulties faced by the Guatemalan farmers who have been drawn into a monocultural, industrial-style agriculture based on export income. We drink the fine, exported coffee grown on their fertile land, while they suffer a high rate of malnutrition and childhood stunting.

Other Guatemalan farmers are looking to new styles of agriculture called ‘food sovereignty’, which¬†focuses on power and control of land, water and seeds. Crops are grown for home consumption and the surplus sold, and seeds are saved for the next season or traded, rather than buying new hybrid seeds from large companies.

More at The Guardian ‘Trouble brewing in Guatemala’s coffee and cardamom fields

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