Friday 17 September 2021

Drop In International Price of Beans Causing Problems For Costa Rica Farmers

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Yorleni Escobar (al frente) y María Pérez cosecharon el frijol en la finca San Clemente, en Medio Queso de Los Chiles, Alajuela. En la zona norte se prevén pérdidas por sequía y problemas para vender. | MAYELA LÓPEZ
Yorleni Escobar (front) y María Pérez harvesting beans at the San Clemente farm, in Medio Queso de Los Chiles, Alajuela. Photo Mayela Lopez, La Nacion

QCOSTARICA – The oversupply of in the world has caused international prices to be lower than local, making it difficult for industry to buy the local bean harvest.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería – MAG), a “quintal” (46 kilgorams) of red beans from abroad is worth ¢22,000 colones, while Costa Rica produced red beans cost ¢33,000.

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The difference in price is affecting, once again, the purchase of the local harvest.

The first crop of the year, mainly from areas of Perez Zeledon, has local farmers protesting, claiming industry is not interested in their beans. The same is expected to occur with the black bean harvest later in the year, in the northern zone, in the area of Los Chiles and Upala.

Last Thursday, Agriculture Minister, Luis Felipe Arauz, visited Perez Zeledon, assuring farmers the government will buy the grain to avoid the protests by farmers.

However, this does not mean a better deal for consumers. Rather, the lower price and purchase in international markets means more profits for the importers, packers and distributors. It is unlikely that the price drop is passed on to consumers.

The MAG estimates that local beans make up only 25% of the demand, the rest purchased abroad.

Source: La Nacion

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