From Origin

Fuego volcano eruption causes losses of about 0.9% to national coffee production

We deeply regret the loss of human life and have set up collection centers to support the victims. Anacafé technicians estimate that the Fuego volcano eruption has affected an area of between 3,440 and 4,055 manzanas of coffee growing land, a loss which equates to 38,400 quintals of green coffee or 0.91% of national production.

Guatemala, 4 June 2018.  Technicians in Anacafé’s regional offices have estimated the damage caused by the Fuego volcano eruption.

In the region of Sacatepéquez, production units in the communities of Antigua Guatemala, Ciudad Vieja, San Miguel Dueñas, San Juan Alotenango and El Rodeo in Escuintla are the most affected. Between 1,540 and 2,055 manzanas of coffee have been affected by a deluge of falling ash and volcanic material. About 21,360 quintals of green coffee is thought to have been lost.

The most affected coffee growing areas in Chimaltenango are around Acatenango and San Pedro Yepocapa. The communities of Panimaché, Santa Sofía and Morelia are some of the worst affected. Damage has also been reported in El Tejar and San Martín Jilotepeque. It is estimated that between 1,900 and 2,000 manzanas are affected in Chimaltenango which will have an impact on the production of roughly 17,600 quintals of green coffee.

The high area, the coffee growing areas closest to the cone of the volcano and those areas without shade are the most affected. National reports indicate that ash has fallen on about 178,000 out of the 434,000 manzanas devoted to coffee production across the country. 

In total, between 3,440 and 4,055 manzanas of coffee growing land is thought to have been directly affected by the Fuego volcano eruption. The national harvest will be down by 0.91%, the equivalent of 38,400 quintals of green coffee. The estimated green coffee harvest for 2017-2018 is 4.2 million quintals.

With each eruption, ash and sand falls on all the growing areas, coating the plants’ foliage. In parts of the coffee growing region, the damage has been reduced by rain which has helped wash the coffee plant leaves and dislodge the ash.

We recommend following the instructions of the authorities and if necessary evacuating the most affected areas. Human life must be protected over all material goods.

In lower risk areas, producers are advised to shake the plants and seedlings to remove the ash from the foliage (leaves). The seedlings should also be rinsed to remove any remaining ash. Spraying the leaves with amino acids is also advised since it will help the coffee plants stave off the effects of the ash.

A more accurate estimate of the damage to coffee production caused by the eruption will only be known once we have seen how the weather behaves and how the fruit develops.

Collection Centers: We have set up collection centers in the regional offices and our central headquarters in 5th Street 0-50, zone 14 (la 5a calle 0-50, zona 14). We hope that this will go some way to supporting and coordinating efforts to mitigate and overcome this crisis.

Those affected need non-perishables, canned food, clean water, blankets and clothes in good condition. We also need medication for eye and skin burns, saline solution to wash burns, oral saline solutions and dressings. All donations will be distributed by our staff in collaboration with CONRED (The National Coordination for Disaster Reduction).

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