Colombian coffee production increased 36% in May compared to the same month last year, according to the latest figures released by the National Federation of Coffee Growers.
In May, 937,000 bags of 60kg of coffee were produced in Colombia and coffee exports for the month also rose significantly by 45% on May 2012.
The rest of the year, from January and May 2013, also experience a 36% rise in coffee production, taking overall output for the five months from 2,951,000 bags in 2012 to 4.026.000 in 2013.
Similarly, coffee exports rose 32% between January and May this year compared to 2012, with the majority of Colombian coffee, 3,678,000 bags, being sold overseas.
The federation attributed the improved output to “an aggressive renovation program of coffee plantations,” which they say has transformed the industry. Recent improvements have seen an 17% increase of coffee trees over five years, credit of over $2500 awarded to 191,000 small coffee producers and renovations of more than half of the country’s coffee plantations.
Rust control has also contributed to the coffee boom and 55% of Colombian coffee plants are now rust-resistant, meaning they are immune to a destructive coffee disease, compared to 30% in 2008. The rust infection level was also dramatically reduced over the course of two years from 33.4% to 5.3%.
Between February and March this year, many of Colombia’s coffee producers went on strike to demand more government support after they were reportedly forced to lower prices below the cost of production, due to inflation and a strong peso. The strike came to an end on March, 2 when Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos agreed to discuss an increase in financial support to the growers.