Crisis del cafe

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A 31 de Octubre de 2011

The Coffee Crisis

As the minister of agriculture of Costa Rica I will not recommend the farmers to stop producing coffee. Coffee plays a major role in Costa Rica, it isthe 13th largest producer of coffee in the world and 28% of its rural labor force is employed in coffee production, and although It is a known fact that coffee prices have dropped in the past yearsand it is becoming harder and harder for the farmers to make a decent living by harvesting coffee. There are a few alternatives I will like to put into practice before telling them to stop theproduction of coffee.

As Technoserve and Oxfam recommend will should focus on an aggressive advertising campaign promoting our high quality coffee, but also we should focus our campaign in domesticconsumption, and into the main exporting countries, which are too busy trying to export their coffee that forget about their domestic consumers, we need to take advantage of the market niche. Even thoughCosta Rica has one of the highest average yields in the world when it comes to coffee production, higher productivity doesn´t mean higher profitability so we need to focus on improving the marketabilityof our production.

On the other hand and because the coffee production industry is a monopolistic competition, and the supply of coffee grains, is currently facing a surplus, I will sadly have toadvice some of the lower quality producers to exit the coffee harvesting business in order to reduce the supply and to be able to get to the market price once again. It is just as Techonoserve suggestedwe as a government will encourage and aid high quality producers to enter the gourmet coffee market, which has a better tendency than the entire coffee market. But some of the lower quality producerswill sadly have to be encouraged to leave the coffee production industry.

In the past Costa Rica has implemented some strategies to avoid having to force any farmer to stop producing coffee,...
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