(WRI) Coffee is core to Costa Rica’s economy and its national identity. Farmers have been growing it there since the 1800s. The beans are so important that the country’s history, as portrayed in the National Museum in San Jose, centers on coffee cultivation and trade.
Coffee farmer Don Luis explains incremental adaptation measures he’s undertaken, like planting new coffee varieties resistant to coffee leaf rust and introducing shade trees. Photo: Rebecca Carter/WRI
But because of climate change, increased competition and shifting demographics, some farmers are giving up coffee in favor of fruits better suited to warmer temperatures. This shift in crops is a trend that may become more common—not just in Costa Rica, but in agricultural communities throughout the world.
Costa Rican Coffee Farmers Face Growing Challenges