Approximately 40% of coffee plantations in Costa Rica are more than 20 years old, which diminishes its productivity. Renewing 35.000 hectares means replacing some 17 million plants, project that will take 10 years.
For the plant renovation, the Coffee Institute of Costa Rica, known as Icafé, and the Agriculture Ministry would contribute $4 million. These funds "are expected to reduce the interest rate for loans in 4 percentage points for the first three years of the loan", said Ronald Peters, Icafé Executive Director, in a Nacion.com article.
The plan will see 30,000 hectares renewed over a period of three years and is due in August.
Rónald Peters, director general of Costa Rica’s national coffee institute (Icafe), highlighted the importance of the renewal program considering the 30% fall in coffee productivity due to the aging of the plantations.
In the short term the country will start a plan to renew coffee plantations; it begins with the Perez Zeledón region.
“Coopeagri el General”, a local cooperative, will coordinate the program with the Coffee Institute (Icafé) and the Agriculture Ministry (MAG).
The financial aspects of the program will be managed by credit cooperative “Credecoop”, which has already agreed to lend the resources at the development banking interest rate plus one percentage point.
Out of the whole $140.5 million trust set up for the National Coffee Plantation Renovation program only 2.7% has been allocated.
Producers should submit requests for credit lines to the country's coffee institute (known as Icafé in Spanish), which will analyze the request and on approval pass it to the Banco Nacional, according to Ronald Peters, executive director of Icafé.