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Alliance formed to boost the economy of Costa Rica's agricultural sector

  • CATIE, Micro Plantas Costa Rica S.A. and Inversiones y Capitales Rotativos, S.A. (ÍCARO) signed an agreement to generate projects around crops such as hemp, coffee and cocoa

August 28, 2020 Following the interest of the Costa Rican government in transforming national agriculture into one that is innovative, investment-oriented, technologically efficient and productive, in keeping with the times, CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), the private company Micro Plantas Costa Rica S.A. and Inversiones y Capitales Rotativos, S.A. (ÍCARO) signed a general framework agreement on August 26, through which they seek to generate and promote research and development projects in crops of great projection for the country, among them, hemp, coffee and cocoa.

The agreement signed establishes the general rules that will govern the consortium between Micro Plantas, ÍCARO and CATIE to start a series of strategic productive actions for the country and the region in important and innovative crops. Therefore, from now on, specific work agreements will be developed for each crop.

Renato Alvarado, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG, Its Spanish acronym) of Costa Rica, who participated virtually during the signing of the agreement, celebrated the fact indicating that hemp is an innovative product that requires high technology and the control and inspection of the State, but that represents a great opportunity to develop and boost agriculture and the country's economy.

He also explained that they are working towards this goal and that they are aware that promoting this crop is a work that must be coordinated and must involve the institutional sector, private enterprise and academia, which is why he is pleased with this new alliance and with CATIE's participation, since it is an institution recognized for its technique, its science and its willingness to develop and generate opportunities for producers to succeed.

According to Muhammad Ibrahim, CATIE's general director, this agreement is an example of how the Center has been changing its way of working, recognizing more the associativity and the need to make alliances with different institutions and organizations to achieve the transformation that the agricultural sector needs.

The agreement was signed by Fernando Alvarado, General Manager of Microplants; José Luis Fernández, President of the Board of Directors of ÍCARO; and Ibrahim from CATIE.

On the potential of hemp, Paolo Borsani, an agro-industrial entrepreneur from ÍCARO, stated that it is a very versatile product, which can be extracted from the point of view of fiber, for textiles and construction materials, as well as from the point of view of seeds for food supplements. In addition, the plant can be extracted cannabinoids for medical use, far from the psychoactive cannabinoid (the tetrahydrocannabinol-THC-), which is popularly known as marihuana.

"Within the hemp there are varieties that do not have THC or have very low percentages, being considered a safe plant. A great potential exists to take advantage of the human talent and the investigation that is made in Costa Rica to exploit the chemistry of the plant from the positive side, the medicinal and industrial side", commented Borsani.

Alvarado detailed that the initial objective is to generate a prototype for the different processes of the hemp, within the framework of this new alliance between private company, academy, investors and other interested institutions, taking into account the capacities of the different actors to develop a successful project at level country, and that in addition benefits to the rural population taking to him new technologies.

Other interested institutions include MAG, the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promotion Agency (PROCOMER, its Spanish acronym), the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE, its Spanish acronym), the Natural Products Research Center (CIPRONA, its Spanish acronym) and the Costa Rican Technological Institute (TEC, its Spanish acronym).

 Holders of ÍCARO, CATIE and Micro Plants of Costa Rica showing the agreement signed



More information:

Carlos Araya
Business Development Office
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Written by:

Karla Salazar Leiva
Information Technology and Communication
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