Fungus wreaks havoc on coffee beans in Central America

Myrtle Beach (WMBF) - The International Coffee Organization is keeping an eye on La Roya, a fungus they say has devastated more than fifty percent of coffee plantations in Central America.

The organization says El Salvador has been hit the highest with a rate of 74 percent, followed by Guatemala, at 70 percent, Costa Rica, at 64 percent, Nicaragua, at 37 percent and Honduras, at 25 percent.

The price of coffee has yet to go up in the U.S. because of the problem, but industry experts say it will likely go up next year. Boardwalk Coffee House in Myrtle Beach says this is the first they've heard of the fungus but if prices go up they'll have no choice but to pass it on to the consumer.

"We would try to absorb it until we can't, but then we'd have to make it go up," says Deann Sarver, the owner. "We will just pray about it. Let God take care of it and believe for the best."

The ICO says so far more than $500 million in product has been affected this year.

For more about La Roya head to the International Coffee Organization's website:

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.