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    Microtunnel technique helps producers increase profits

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    [captionpix imgsrc=”https://thecostaricanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/agro1.jpg” align=”left” captiontext=”The investment is $2 per square meter. These people are getting 450,000 colones per week in profit. The initial investment was less than 300,000 colones.”]San José, Costa Rica. Thanks to investigations lead by the National Institute for Agricultural Innovation and Technological Transference, at the Enrique Jimenez Nuñez Experimental Station in Cañas, Guanacaste, a group of producers in Hojancha, are producing, with great success, culantro (Eryngium foetidum), using a micro tunnel method with a combination of water and a fertilized irrigation system.

    “This type of production has helped them increase their profits, and still be environmentally sustainable. With these efforts, we can combat global warming, reduce the use of chemical insecticides, and give the consumer access to fresh and healthy products”, said Tania López, Vice-minister of Agriculture and Cattle Farming.

    The Vice-minister, who is also the President of the Executive Board of INTA, said that the project generates a positive impact for the agricultural development of the region. It is a joint effort of the Ministry of Agriculture (MAG) and the INTA, together with Hojancha’s Municipality, the Regional Agricultural Center, and the producers.

    “These producers in Monte Romo are selling 2,000 units per week. Their goal is to reach 7,000; which is the estimated demand of the product in the area. The high quality of the products being offered, have allowed them to acquire a very important place among consumers, and businesses.”

    Roberto Ramírez, from INTA’s Protected Environment Project, said that the micro-tunnel system protects plants from the seasonal rains, and allows producers to have their products in stock throughout the entire year.

    “The investment costs $2 per square meter. These people are planting in a 1500 sq. meters field, and are getting 450,000 colones per week in profit. The initial investment was less than 300,000 colones”, Ramírez added.

    Berny Prendas, producer at Monte Romo, Hojancha, commented that his goal is to start planting other kind of crops, such as tomato, peppers, beans, and cucumbers; because the local hotels are constantly looking to buy these crops.

    Eduardo Pineda, Hojancha’s major, thanked the Vice-minister, and said that this is the beginning of a new era for vegetable production in the area.

    Mario Garita for TheCostaRicaNews.com

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