Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Analysis: Honduras coffee boom feels growing pains

Edgard Garrido/Reuters

Gustavo Palencia

MARCALA, Honduras 
May 8
(Reuters) - In the small town of Marcala in the western mountains of Honduras, farmers are harvesting more coffee than ever before, part of a nationwide push to capitalize on higher prices that has doubled production in less than 10 years.
But the boom comes with a cost.
The coffee is coming in faster than growers can handle it and they are running out of space to dry all the beans, which need time in the sun or in drying machines to stop fermenting.
Improper drying can ruin coffee for export. A drastic reduction in quality will slash the price the coffee can fetch.
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