COSTA RICA & COFFEE CONTINUED 5


Regarding the varieties of coffee used, established in the mid-nineteenth century were basically Typica or Creole variety of the Arabica species. This type was characterized by its size and high productivity. To some extent during the first stage coffee plantations were grown totally or partially exposed to the sun.

However shaded plantations have also been maintained from the 19th century to present day. At first, the Typica was still used. As the coffee trees were tall and leafy, they sought to keep a suitable distance between them, which in the majority was three meters in size; neaning that the density per unit of production was relatively low.

The producers carried out a series of activities aimed at achieving greater productivity: pruning, shoveling, fertilizing, and tanking. With the first one the branches were controlled so that the plants were developed and that the fruits ripened uniformly. Subsequently other varieties were also introduced of high stature: Bourbon, Tico hybrid, etc. Since the mid-twentieth century Costa Rican coffee production has undergone a new production modification derived from the dissemination of high-performance agricultural techniques within the framework of the "Green Revolution". Among its results the change in the cultivated coffee variety stands out; Low-sized hybrids, Caturra and Catuaí varieties, were adopted.

Although Typica was characterized by excellent grain quality and uniform maturation, low seed density required replacing it with a higher yield coffee. Genetic improvement was completed with increased planting density per unit and increased use of fertilizers, fertilizers and supplements to combat pests and diseases.

Production technology shifted from extensive to intensive, resulting in higher productivity per cultivated unit. The techniques included the use of fertilizers in order to bring the plant's nutrients to a healthy level.