The appearance of pests and diseases, in particular the ‘dragón amarillo’ (yellow dragon), combined with the impact of the weather and a sharp drop in international prices, are creating hard times for the Costa Rican orange industry. Producers and industry fear a collapse.
Backyard trees have become a strong source of transmission of the yellow dragon, which caused havoc in the orange plantations. This and other factors, plus the effect of the pandemic on the international market, brought this productive sector to a critical condition, according to the representatives of large companies.
The combination of factors had its greatest manifestation when Tico Frut presented a preventive agreement, before the Bankruptcy Court of San José, with the objective of restructuring a debt of US$165.9 million. This was on March 11, 2021.
Since the Huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening disease appeared in Costa Rica in February 2011, production has been in trouble, because it is a lethal problem and, therefore, requires an increase in costs to try to control it.