Sufficient rainfall, moderately warm temperatures, and rich soil fed by numerous volcanoes help make Costa Rica sugar cane exceptional. These are also ideal growing conditions for a large number of agricultural products including vegetables, fruits, flowers, and of course, coffee.
Sugar cane has, in some minds, a history and reputation similar to that of coffee, gold, and a few other natural resources.
As was the case with many other indigenous crops, sugar cane was transported to dozens of locations around the globe from its native region of south Asia and India. Today it is planted and harvested in more than 100 countries, including Costa Rica in Central America.
Costa Rica Sugar Cane Production
There are almost three-dozen types of “sugar” cane, all of which are of the tall perennial grass variety. Many have been inter-bred.
According to the most recent statistics, Brazil is the world’s leading producer of sugar cane, with India following in a close second place. Although the production of Costa Rica sugar cane pales in comparison, it remains a vital part of Costa Rica’s economy.
Sugar Cane Replacing Rice Crops
Recent figures indicate that some farmers in Costa Rica have started to use rice-farming land for growing sugar cane, although the number of hectares switching is still rather small. In general, there seems to be fewer problems associated with growing and harvesting sugar cane, as compared to rice, which has been subject to insect infestation and climate problems.
Costa Rica Agriculture
Numerous commercial real estate professionals offer development land and agricultural land for sale in addition to hailing Costa Rica’s strong reputation as an eco-tourism vacation dreamland.
In the last couple of decades, Costa Rica has become a prime destination for individuals relocating from northern climates. Advertisements tout the country as having plenty of excellent agricultural land for cocoa, bananas, citrus fruits, melons and of course, sugar cane.
Food-processing plants are among the successful movers within the economy. Processed sugar is exported along with coffee, bananas, pineapple, and beef.
Diversity of Sugar Cane Crops
There are many uses for Costa Rica sugar cane crops. The majority produced in Costa Rica is used for granulated sugars and sweet cooking ingredients. Rum and other alcoholic beverages like Guaro (the national liquor/ drink of Costa Rica) are also made from sugar cane. People of all ages can enjoy the popular sugar cane based beverage Agua Dulce (which means sweet water). This sweet water is made by boiling cane juice.
Sugar cane also has practical uses such as being burned for heat. The versatile and sturdy sugar cane stalk can be used in cardboards and rough paper.
Another primary use for sugar cane is ethanol production. Many other countries rely on burning corn as their primary ethanol ingredient; ethanol produced in Costa Rica comes from burning sugar cane. The sugar fermentation process produces ethanol, a fuel that is later blended with refined gasoline to provide better combustion and a higher octane. The process of adding ethanol to gasoline has many benefits including conserving gasoline and being better for the environment.
Sandy beaches, tropical rainforests, unique wildlife, and even Costa Rica’s fine coffee often come to mind when we think of this Caribbean country. However, as you’ll soon discover, Costa Rica sugar cane farms are very common.
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