San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Pineapple Growers Demand Regulatory Institution

THE country’s pineapple growersare asking the government to create aninstitution to assist and regulate theirindustry, the daily La Nación reported.The recent expansion of the country’spineapple industry has created theneed for regulation, according to AlexisQuesada, manager of the AgricultureMinistry’s (MAG) national pineappleprogram. The sector would like to seethe creation of a pineapple institute similarto the Costa Rican Coffee Institute(ICAFE) and the National BananaCorporation (CORBANA).Last year, Costa Rican pineappleexports totaled $208 million, surpassingcoffee exports ($191 million) to becomethe country’s second-largest agriculturalcash crop behind bananas. During thefirst half of this year, pineapple exportsreached $145 million.By the end of the year, Quesadaexpects there will be 26,000 hectares(64,250 acres) of pineapple plantationsin Costa Rica – 179% more land than in1998.Since the pineapple export boombegan that year, thousands of farmershave switched to growing pineapples.There are now 1,200 small and mediumpineapple exporters — four times asmany as five years ago. Pineapples arenow grown in the Northern Zone cantonsof San Carlos, Sarapiquí, Guatusoand Upala and in several parts of theEastern province of Limón.

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