San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Country to Lend Hand Growing Grapes

COSTA Rica may soon offer guidanceto neighboring Panama in grape growingtechniques, although neithercountry has visions of mass-exportingpinot noir or juicy grapes anytime soon.Panama is studying the possibility oflarge-scale growth of the “Ruby” type ofpurple grapes produced in Costa Rica forraisins.The grape is grown in Costa Ricausing special techniques. Panama’sMinistry of Agricultural Development(MIDA) believes climatic conditions insome regions of the country could helpsimilar production excel, according to apress statement from the ministry.Costa Rica has grown the Ruby tablegrape since 1987. The variety is seedlessand used for the production of raisinsbecause it is not the best for fresh consumption.Eda Araya, from Costa Rica’sNational Learning Institute (INA),recently visited Panama to offer guidanceto potential and current grape producers.Despite the humidity of much ofCosta Rica, Araya said growth of Rubygrapes in some areas of the country hasbeen successful, and a project to expandproduction was initiated in 1991.

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