Trained field workers from the Ministry of Agriculture check for further signs of coffee leaf rust in the affected area of Jinotepe. Suspected leaves are sent to a laboratory in Managua for analysis. - - Battle Against Coffee Leaf Rust. Race II of coffee leaf rust (caused by the fungus Hemileia vastatrix) was detected in November 1976 as it began destroying coffee plantations in south-western Nicaragua. The Government launched an immediate eradication and control campaign, cutting back neighbouring trees and treating the surrounding area with fungicides. Assistance was requested under FAO's Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP). A $162,500, nine-month TCP project was launched to help the Government to achieve complete eradication of the disease. Most of the cash is being spent on supplies and equipment including motorised knapsack sprayers, copper-based fungicides, gas-proof plastic sheets and fumigants. If coffee leaf rust were to take hold, some $3,500,000 would be necessary to control it, and very serious socio-economic consequences would result in rural areas.