Better berries is the goal of an organization that has been formed by strawberry producers.
This is a crop that is easily overlooked, but in Costa Rica, a census of agriculture showed that there are 335 farms that produce strawberries on 232 hectares, about 575 acres. They are mainly in the higher elevations of Cartago, Alajuela, San José and Heredia.
Under the guidance of the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería, growers have gotten together with the goals of sponsoring research, locating new technology and finding innovations. The new committee includes growers from Poás de Alajuela, Varablanca de Heredia, Llano Grande de Cartago and La Cima de Dota de San José, said the ministry.
Also sponsoring the continuing collaboration is the Fundación para el Fomento y Promoción de la Investigación y Transferencia de Tecnología Agropecuaria de Costa Rica and the Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura.
Strawberries are a labor intensive crop. Between 15,000 and 20,000 strawberry plants are planted per acre in a commercial
operation, according to a U.S. industry source, which adds that many growers go bust every year because they overlooked the basics.
In addition ripe strawberries have to be picked every day, and that adds to the labor needs.