You may remember our article from a few weeks ago discussing the big problem Hawaiian coffee growers are having with the tiny little pest – the coffee borer. Well, the borer has become such a big problem for farmers that the Hawaii Coffee Association just sent a letter to President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack asking for help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in defeating the beetle. The beetle was first discovered on the island in 2010.
The letter was dated February 28th and stated the pest has increased to billions, threatening the Kona Coffee Farmer’s crops, despite them being combated for more than two years.
The letter stated:
“Clearly more expertise is rapidly needed. As a Hawaii-born citizen, Mr. President, you can understand the gravity of our situation as our agricultural business sector provides our diverse citizenry with the economic bases for life here on the Island of Hawaii.”
Kona Coffee is currently grown on more than 700 small farms in Hawaii, and can produce over a $35 million crop.