argylesock says… Here’s an article telling us that drinking coffee (made from Coffea arabica if you’re wealthy, or the cheaper Coffea canephora) in the rich world can be good news for kids’ survival in Ethiopia. There’s been a dramatic rise in prices for coffee beans. But the coffee industry worldwide is being hit by leaf rust, caused by a fungus called Hemileia vastatrix. That fungus spread from Asia and Africa to the Americas where some people think that organic growing is making the problem worse. Now might be a time to adjust the organic standards, allowing a synthetic fungicide to be sprayed on organic coffee bushes.
A new report issued by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) claimed that the child mortality rate in Ethiopia has been cut from more than 200 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 68 per 1,000 today. With a per capita gross domestic product of less than $1,200, Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking 169th (out of 180) according to World Bank estimates. The Ethiopian economy is heavily dependent on coffee exports, which account for more than a quarter of the country’s export earnings. Coffee production—like agricultural production in Ethiopia more generally—is highly dependent on rainfall. But the Unicef report suggests that Ethiopia—a country with a long history of famine and malnutrition—is one of the few African countries making progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal of reducing child mortality rates. The country’s success, according to Health Minister Kesetebirhan Admasu
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