Monstrous Volcano Erupts In Guatemala's Coffee Sector

June 6, 2018

Guatemala, June 3, 2018.  The Board of Directors and collaborators of the National Coffee Association -Anacafé- and the Foundation of Coffee for Rural Development -Funcafé- express their condolences to the relatives of those who died in the eruption of the Volcán de Fuego and we sympathize with all those affected. 

With the objective of supporting and coordinating efforts to mitigate and overcome this crisis, we have enabled Collection Centers in the Regional Offices and at the Headquarters located at 5th Street 0-50, zone 14. 

Affected people require non-perishable or canned food, pure water, blankets and clothes in good condition. Medications for ophthalmic burns and skin burns, physiological saline for burns, oral sera and cloth gauze, the proceeds will be distributed by our staff in coordination with CONRED. 

We recognize the work carried out by CONRED, the relief corps, the Guatemalan Army, the National Police and other institutions involved. 

Estimation of damages in the production of the coffee sector 

The sand and ash that fell after the eruption of the Volcán de Fuego affected areas of the departments of Escuintla, Sacatepéquez, Chimaltenango, Guatemala, El Progreso and part of the east of the country, specifically the coffee area towards the south-west.  
The volcanic material precipitated for 1 to 1.5 hours in all the cultivated areas remaining deposited in the foliage of the plants. 

Some damages are reported in the productive units of the village El Rodeo, Escuintla and Alotenango, it is estimated that the sand and ash affected between 15 and 20% of the coffee area, approximately between 1,540 and 2,055 apples grown with coffee. 

In the municipalities of the department of Chimaltenango, the affected area ranges from 1,900 to 2,000 cultivated manzanas, mainly in the municipalities of Acatenango, San Pedro Yepocapa, El Tejar, Chimaltenango and San Martín Jilotepeque. 

The coffee area closest to the cone of the volcano (high zone) and the areas without shade were the most affected, we will have to wait for the behavior of the climate and the process of development of the fruit to make more precise estimations about the effects of the eruption on the coffee production. 

In part of the coffee area, the rain has helped to wash and release the ash on the leaves of the coffee trees, decreasing the damage. In the rest of the area, producers are advised to shake the plants to throw away the ash from the foliage (leaves) and irrigate the seedbeds to remove the ash that is still adhering. 

It is also advisable to perform foliar sprays with amino acids, thereby helping the coffee plants to overcome the effect of ash affectation. 

Release translated to English. For original version, click here