Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Costa Rica’s Chinchilla signs $40 million aid bill for coffee farmers

July 2, 2013

President Laura Chinchilla signed a bill into law Wednesday morning that will provide $40 million in support for Costa Rica’s coffee farmers struggling with a devastating fungus, according to a press release from her office.

Along with Agriculture and Livestock Minister Xinia Chaves Quirós, the president visited the Coopronaranjo coffee cooperative to sign a law establishing the Support Trust for Producers Affected by Roya, or Hemileia vastatrix, a fungus that has ravaged coffee plantations across Central America this season.

The president’s office estimates that the trust will benefit 250,000 mostly small farmers from across the country. Over 60 percent of Costa Rica’s coffee is affected by roya, also known as leaf rust.

The Agriculture and Livestock Ministry estimates a 20 percent drop in production during the 2013-2014 harvest that could knock some small farmers out of commission for two to three years.

The funds are intended to go toward financing social programs, low interest loans to replant damaged coffee fields, and debt reduction. 

The regions most affected by roya are Coto Brus, Pérez Zeledón, Turriabla and Valle Occidental, according to the Costa Rican Coffee Institute.

Costa Rica declared a coffee emergency in January along with several other Central American countries, noting that as much as 30 percent of the small country’s crop could be lost to leaf rust.

The current wave of leaf rust in Central America is the worst since it was first found on the isthmus in 1976. PROMECAFE, a coffee research organization based in Guatemala, estimates that roya could cost the isthmus $500 million.

You may be interested

At least a dozen people rescued as boat sinks in Tamarindo
Costa Rica
6 views
Costa Rica
6 views

At least a dozen people rescued as boat sinks in Tamarindo

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 24, 2020

At least a dozen people returned safely to shore on Wednesday evening when their schooner sank off the coast of…

IMF predicts ‘partial and uneven’ recovery in Latin America due to Covid-19
Costa Rica
825 views
Costa Rica
825 views

IMF predicts ‘partial and uneven’ recovery in Latin America due to Covid-19

AFP and The Tico Times - September 24, 2020

The International Monetary Fund foresees a "partial and uneven" recovery in Latin America after the Covid-19 crisis, and it anticipates…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Wednesday, September 23
Costa Rica
5494 views
Costa Rica
5494 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Wednesday, September 23

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 23, 2020

Costa Rica announced 21 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 781, according to official data…