Coffee Board of Kenya Monthly Bulletins August 1978

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Okioga, D. M.
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The most serious diseases of Coffee Arabica L. in Kenya are the coffee leaf rust. ca used by Hemileia vastatrix B. and Br. Coffee berry disease (CBD). Caused by Colletotrichum coffea-num Noack sensu Hindorf. and bacterial blight (Elgon/Solai di e-bac k) .caused by Pseudomonas syringae Van Hall.Leaf rust has been a se ri o us pro blem as early as coffee was introduced in Kenya in the 1900s.Infection of this fungus occurs only on the underside of the leaves.The infection site becomes encrusted with spore masses that form a characteristic orange pustule.Sometimes the whole leaf may become infected . but only one or two pustules may cause premature leaf fall which lead to defoliation of the affected trees.Damage caused by H. Vastatrix in the absence of control measures can be disastrous.For example. before the end of the 19th century. Ceylon was the greatest exporter of coffee.But after the out break of leaf rust at the close of the 19th century. the coffee industry collapsed .Planters were abandoning their coffee fields and changed to growing tea. Other countries whose coffee industry suffered from leaf'tu st included Java. Phillipines. T ransvaal and Rhodesia.
Monthly bulletin, 43 (509)