Technology in Coffee

Today we visited the Instituto del Café de Costa Rica or Icafe. They specialize in research and development methods for providing better quality coffee. Along with technologies that increase yields. While we were touring through their laboratories, we were shown a fungus that grows in rice. This fungus is responsible for combating another fungus that kills the stem of the coffee plant. Icafe is also developing a fungus that eliminates an insect that eats the coffee beans. This is an alternative to chemical pesticides whose use can result in harmful side effects to the soil and the plants.

These technologies can be very useful to many coffee farmers. For example, a coffee farmer who may be seeing reduced yield due to insects destroying their crop may seek out Icafe. They would not charge the coffee farmer for the product. Instead they would require a certain percentage of the profits of that years yield. This is a good option because it puts the responsibility on Icafe to create technology that promotes the growth of coffee. Despite its benefits, a large company may not be interested in the products of Icafe. I believe they would not be interested because they would not want to give a percentage of their yield. As they are a large plantation, even a small percentage could be a valuable source of revenue.

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