Coffee and pineapple exports showed strong growth, according to recent figures released by the government.
Coffee exports grew by more than 7% in December compared with the same period in 2006, according to Costa Rica’s National Coffee Institute (ICAFE). In total, the country exported 168,915 60-kilogram sacks of coffee between October and December, an increase of 2.28% compared with the fourth quarter in the previous year.
Pineapple exports have also gone up dramatically. The industry was worth $470 million to the Costa Rican economy in 2007, reported newswire EFE, citing the Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER). This figure, however, is less than originally forecast – at the beginning of the year, experts had predicted that the sector would be worth $500 million in 2007 (TT, Jan. 19, 2007).
Costa Rica is the world’s leading pineapple producer. The fruit is now the fourth most valuable export in the country, after microprocessors, bananas and medical supplies.
There are now 40,000 hectares of pineapple plantations in Costa Rica, up from 12,000 hectares in 2000, providing direct employment for 20,000 people.