Coffee farms in Costa Rica are heading for a huge change. Businessmen have been able to triple and even quadruple the average production per hectare. On average, new coffee varieties are yielding between 60 and 80 fanegas per hectare while traditional ones harvest 24. In some cases, 130 were produced. A fenega corresponds to 46 kilos of coffee.
The high productivity isn’t the only good news. These new varieties, such as the hybrids Catiguá and Obatá, are much more tolerant to diseases and fungi. The new plants are not very tall and they produce coffee on lower branches. Additionally, the branches divide, giving rise to even more fruit.
The results of tests regarding the yield of these varieties renew hopes of the Coffee Institute of Costa Rica to increase national production and exportation. Taste tests were also performed and these varieties consistently scored above 87 out of 100, very close to the ratings given to the best lots from the country in fine coffee competitions.
These new varieties need a lot of nutritional attention with a high investment in fertilizers. The Altmann companies plan to offer producers one million plants this year, with 50% pre-sales. The cost per plant is between ¢270 and ¢275.