The Costa Rican Coffee Institute (ICAFÉ) on Tuesday said current estimates indicate the 2014-2015 coffee harvest will be better than the previous season, due mostly to the implementation of better agricultural practices and actions to control rust fungus.
ICAFÉ forecast a harvest of 2.1 million bushels (sacks of 46 kilograms) – a 7.25 percent increase over the 1.9 million bushels recorded during the 2013-2014 harvest, which was severely affected by rust fungus on plantations throught the country.
“Farmers had better management of their plantations in 2013 and at the start of 2014. They did a better job fertilizing and using mechanisms to prevent diseases, especially rust,” an ICAFÉ report noted.
The report states that crop renovation at many farms and a decrease in rainfall this year has benefited farmers in areas that are characterized by early grain maturity.
Coffee is Costa Rica’s third most important agricultural export, behind pineapple and bananas. The 2014-2015 harvest starts in November and runs through April.
Costa Rican coffee exports in 2013 totaled $301.9 million, a decrease of 26.7 percent from $412.2 million in 2012, mostly due to rust fungus.
The fungus and climatic factors caused the loss of about 15 percent of the 2013-2014 harvest, according to ICAFÉ.