A coffee fungus, called coffee rust, may cause a shortage of Arabica beans, which are used in most specialty coffees.
The coffee fungus has already done over $1 billion worth of damage to bean farms in Latin America. The U.S. Agency for International Development is teaming up with Texas A&M University’s World Coffee Research center in an effort to eliminate the fungus. The team up has the U.S. dedicating $5 million to research, reports the Associated Press.
America’s chief concern in the coffee fungus crisis sin’t keeping prices down on coffee. Instead, America is hoping to keep countries from losing jobs and falling to drug trafficking. If coffee rust continues to deal damage to farms in Latin America, it could put as many as 500,000 people out of jobs, the Associated Press notes.
“There’s increasing evidence that climate change is part of the problem,” Peter Baker, a climate and commodities researcher, told Wired. “You find coffee rust striking much farther up the valleys than it used to. There’s no other plausible explanation.”