In the last thirty years the total amount of land dedicated to the cultivation of coffee beans nationwide dropped by 6.4%, going from 89,881 hectares in 1984 to 84,133 in 2015.
The number of farms engaged in the planting and cultivation of coffee has also been declining in recent years. Data from the State of the Nation report indicates that in 1984 there were 34,464 farms that were engaged in this activity, whereas in 2015 the number dropped to 26,527.
One of the main reasons behind the reduction is the growth in real estate in the greater metropolitan area of San Jose (GAM), in areas such as Tres Rios, Cartago, and San Ramon, Alajuela. However, this reduction was partially offset by the increase in planting in areas such as Los Santos, as Ronald Peters, executive director of the Coffee Institute of Costa Rica (Icafe), explained to Elfinancierocr.com.
“… At the same time, the irregularity in prices in the New York Mercantile Exchange, the main market, contributed to taking some farmers out of the game. As an example, for the first of December this year, the closing price of the grain per hundredweight in the stock exchange was US$117, compared to the US$230 it traded at five years ago. ”
“… Therefore, more than the price and space for cultivation, what is keeping the Icafé itself awake at night, along with the industry, is productivity and the ability to differentiate. On the first point, the country has failed to recover its production to its highest point, 30 bushels per hectare. Today that number is about 24. The need to modernize coffee plantations and find varieties which are resistant to climate and pests, is vital. ”