• Coffee fungus raising prices for high-end blends


    ong> - (AP) The U.S. government is stepping up efforts to help Central American farmers fight a devastating coffee disease — and hold down the price of your morning cup.

    A fungus called coffee rust has caused more than $1 billion in damage across Latin American. The fungus is especially deadly to Arabica coffee — that's the bean that makes up most high-end, specialty coffees.

    It's already affecting the price of some of those coffees in the United States.

    The U.S. Agency for International Development is concerned about the economic security of small coffee farms abroad.

    On Monday, agency head Raj Shah plans to announce a $5 million partnership with Texas A&M University's World Coffee Research center to try to eliminate the fungus.

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