Interactions between geomorphology and production chain of 2 high-quality coffee in Costa Rica
Quesada Román, Adolfo
Quirós Arias, Lilliam
Zamora Pereira, Juan Carlos
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High-altitude coffee has an international reputation due to its high quality, especially in countries with a long production history like Costa Rica. Specific geographical characteristics determine the regions where high-altitude coffee can be cultivated. Over the last two decades, new production conditions have promoted the growth of smallholder coffee farms in the Upper Buenavista Catchment (UBC) in the South of Costa Rica. To understand this phenomenon's process, we ini-tially performed a detailed geomorphological mapping of the high-elevation production sites in the UBC. Then, we used remote sensing to determine the coffee land cover (2005, 2012, and 2018) to compare their landforms. Furthermore, we analyzed the production-processing-market chain that has promoted coffee plantations since 2005. Our results show that coffee farmers chose more unstable and erosive areas with short-term production prospects to cultivate premium-prices coffee. Moreover, farmers have changed their role in the coffee sector, evolving from small pro-ducers to entrepreneurs with specialized knowledge. These actions may reduce economic risks and improve the household incomes of smallholder coffee producers. However, limited research has been done along the tropics about the relationships between landforms, socioeconomic drivers, and high-altitude coffee yield. Therefore, our results are essential to present geomor-phology and applied geography as baselines in land use planning for agricultural landscapes.
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