The Race To Save Coffee Is In Full Swing This Year 

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Since the 1920s, plant pathologist Elaine Solowey has been chasing an adversary no living person on earth can outrun: leaf rust.

Since the first coffee plants were planted in Brazil by French missionaries, leaf rust has kept on reappearing. Every year, coffee farmers face a dilemma: they need to choose between protection and harvest. By protecting their crops against leaf rust with fungicide, they risk losing out of yield. If the grower sacrifices the crop for growth of more beans, they run the risk of losing it all if leaf rust attacks again.

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Currently, experimental plant pathologist Elaine Solowey has been working to create a rust-resistant variety of coffee in Kibbutz Ketura, Israel. She and her team have crossed wild varieties with naturally resistant plants through trial and error; they also crossbreed two known Arabica coffee species. The secret to resistance, Solowey found, is in the chromosomes of this plant.

Having created a resilient breed of coffee by crossing wild varieties with resistant plants through trial and error,  plant pathologist Elaine Solowey now looks to create cross breeds with two known Arabica coffee species.  This type of breeding has led to the discovery of resistance in chromosomes.  

“We’ve succeeded in crossing ten species,” she says, “and have obtained 30 promising plants.”               

                Ketura is ranked as one of the most sustainable communities in the world, and its coffee lab is at the center of that. As a result of their work,  the coffee produced will be not only delicious but also healthy.               

“We took one wild species with sixteen chromosomes and crossed it with another with eighteen,” she says. “Both with good resistance.”               

                Solowey’s efforts may pave the way for a healthier future for Arabica coffee farmers. It is now up to the world’s leading coffee companies to take this breed and scale it up.               

                “The race to save coffee is in full swing this year,” says Solowey, who has been chasing an adversary no living person on earth can outrun: leaf rust. Coffee growers worldwide will face a dilemma,  they either protect their crops with fungicide or risk losing out on yield.               

                “You need to choose between protection and harvest,” she says. “If you sacrifice the crop for the growth of more beans, then you run the risk of losing it all if leaf rust attacks again.”               

                In Kibbutz Ketura, Israel,  the race to save coffee is in full swing this year with experimental plant pathologist Elaine Solowey. She and her team have crossed wild varieties with naturally resistant plants through trial and error; they also crossbreed two known Arabica coffee species.                       

                Their work has led to the discovery of resistance in chromosomes, creating a breed that is not only delicious but healthy.               

                “We’ve succeeded in crossing ten species,”  she says, “and have obtained 30 promising plants.”               

                Ketura’s coffee lab is ranked as one of the most sustainable communities in the world, and its coffee lab is at the center of that. As a result of their work,  the coffee produced will be not only delicious but also healthy.               

                “We took one wild species with sixteen chromosomes and crossed it with another with eighteen,” she says. “Both with good resistance.”               

                Solowey’s efforts may pave the way for a healthier future for Arabica coffee farmers. It is now up to the world’s leading coffee companies to take this breed and scale it up.               

                “The race to save coffee this year,” says Solowey, who has been chasing an adversary no living person on earth can outrun: leaf rust. Coffee growers worldwide will face a dilemma,  they either protect their crops with fungicide or risk losing out on yield.               

                “You need to choose between protection and harvest,” she says. “If you sacrifice the crop for the growth of more beans, then you run the risk of losing it all if leaf rust attacks again.”               

                In Kibbutz Ketura, Israel,  the race to save coffee is in full swing. Here, plant pathologist Elaine Solowey crosses wild varieties with naturally resistant plants through trial and error; she also crossbreeds two known Arabica coffee species.               

                Her work has led to the discovery of resistance in chromosomes, creating a breed that is not only delicious but healthy.               

                “We’ve succeeded in crossing ten species,”  she says, “and have obtained 30 promising plants.”                       

                Ketura’s coffee lab is ranked as one of the most sustainable communities in the world, and its coffee lab is at the center of that. As a result of their work,  the coffee produced will be not only delicious but also healthy.               

It’s been a tumultuous year for the coffee industry as it battles with declining sales and more people turning to tea. But there is hope on the horizon, thanks to new innovations in brewing technology that make it easier than ever before. These days you can enjoy a delicious cup of Joe at home or work without going through the hassle of grinding beans by hand or using an expensive machine. 

And espresso lovers can finally get their fix from a pod machine! For those who still prefer drip-brewed coffee, there are plenty of high-tech options available now too. 

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