Security has been tightened in Colombia’s coffee region as 30,000 laborers from across Colombia are expected to descend on the state of Caldas for the latest coffee harvest.
Over 400 police and soldiers have been deployed to roads, rural areas, accommodation, market places and banks, Caracol reported on Wednesday morning.
The State of Caldas, in central-west Colombia, was once home to the 9th Front of guerrilla group FARC, but has been relatively calm in recent years. The current security is more about maintaining public order among the new arrivals.
High hopes for harvest
The harvest in Caldas will hope to collect 350,000 bags of 60 kilos of coffee, which is 30% of the production for the year.
Until recently, Colombian coffee farmers have been facing decreasing international prices and the ongoing issue of leaf rust, a plant disease that ravaged the usually high-quality arabica crops. This has prompted many producers to take the costly step of renewing their plantations with disease resistant crops.
But due to recent international price rises, the internal price of coffee is now hovering at around $400 per load.
At this price, coffee growers are only just beginning to see a small profit margin in the commodity, which was sold at a 40% to 50% loss towards the end of last year.