Preventing the spread of berry borer beetles and harvesting in spite of labor shortages are Colombian coffee farmers’ top challenges for the remainder of 2020, the head of the country’s growers’ federation said.
Two months of coronavirus quarantine in Colombia, the world’s top producer of washed arabica beans, has complicated growers’ efforts to find pickers, though farms are exempt from lockdown.
Output fell in the first four months of the year because lack of rains delayed flowering. Lower than average rains have also boosted infestations of the beetles, known as “broca.”
“Broca has been and will be a distortion factor and a headache this year,” the federation’s Roberto Velez told Reuters late on Wednesday. “With labor shortages there will surely be more coffee that falls to the ground and that’s potential for higher levels of broca.