Ecological resilience to coffee rust: Varietal adaptations of coffee farmers in Copán, Honduras

Rachel Ward, David Gonthier, Clara Nicholls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Coffee leaf rust (CLR) attacked Central American coffee farms during the post-2011 epidemic, driving production loss across the region. In response, smallholders are adapting agroecological and conventional practices. We compare varietal adaptations of small conventional and organic farmers in Copán, Honduras. We show farmers are growing a greater diversity of varieties after the outbreak. Both groups increased acreage of CLR-resistant varieties; however, our data suggests organic farmers maintained greater acreage of CLR-susceptible varieties than conventional farmers. These results have important consequences for the specialty market, fungicide use, and management. Understanding farmers’ adaptive logic will be critical for aid and policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1081-1098
Number of pages18
JournalAgroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Nov 26 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Taylor & Francis.


  • Agroecology
  • Honduras
  • coffee
  • coffee leaf rust
  • farmer adaptation
  • genetic diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Development
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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