The technology transfer carried out by the University of Costa Rica (UCR) to the agricultural sector, through the Agronomic Research Center (CIA), which studies high-quality crop seeds ant their export potential, has allowed different Costa Rican companies to expand their export portfolio and increase their international sales.
TropiFoods has been one of the companies benefiting from this collaboration. Thanks to it, the company has managed to place 69,000 kilos of sweet potato with orange flesh on the European market this year, according to the Ministry of Foreign Trade (COMEX).
The company was able to access high-quality seeds of 15 varieties of sweet potato through the CIA. Under the supervision of Dr. Arturo Brenes Angulo, coordinator of the Center's Biotechnology Laboratory, they tested the different varieties until they found one that best suited the conditions of their production area in Pital de San Carlos and the demands of their European customers.
"We continue to use seed from the UCR and the truth is that this project wouldn't be what it is without the University and Arturo's support," stated Joshua Guerrero Medina, the Financial Manager of TropiFoods.
The Beauregard sweet potato variety that this company exports was introduced to the country by the CIA, along with 9 other genotypes that were brought in from North Carolina State University's Micropropagation Unit. Researchers from the University of Costa Rica evaluated these materials in the field and characterized them from an agronomic point of view.
Research has shown that the evaluated sweet potato varieties have the potential for cultivation in the country. The orange and cream pulp varieties, such as Beauregard, Hernandez, Carolina Rose, Carolina Ruby, and O 'Henry stand out. These varieties have been transferred to different companies and agricultural entrepreneurs so that new markets can be opened.
TropiFoods experience constitutes a case of success of the DESCUBRE program, a public-private alliance articulated by the Ministry of Foreign Trade (COMEX), the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), and the Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER) with the support of CINDE and the Development Banking System.