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Panamanian pineapples

Monday, March 19, 2012


Pineapples may proliferate in Panama, partly due to a government subsidy, intended to promote the industry.

In addition, conditions of climate and soil favor growth in the sector, which currently uses 3,500 hectares (8,750 acres) of farmland. By comparison, Costa Rica has 50,000 hectares of land, dedicated to pineapple cultivation.

Pineapple production grew rapidly in Costa Rica during the past decade, in part because of a decline in output in Hawaii , where high prices of land and labor made the industry uncompetitive.

For its part, the Panamanian government pays 3 cents per kilogram of pineapples exported, mainly to the United States and Europe.

Potential advantages for Panamanian production include plants, which use lower amounts of pesticide, since they have not yet developed resistance to agro chemicals.

A hillier topography means that cultivated areas accumulate less water, which tends to rot plants.

Both Panama and Costa Rica export the Golden variety of pineapple.

A potential problem is finding workers in a labor-intensive sector, in a country which has a small population, and which imposes strict limits on the right of employers to hire foreign workers.

Production would also increase of frozen and dried pineapples.

But with increasing levels of demand in major markets, Panamanian pineapple production has room to grow.


Opportunities

  • Farmers
  • Agronomists
  • Packers