The coca production of Costa Rica, a country of just 7.4 million people, is expected to triple by 2050 to reach 20 billion metric tons, according to a new report by the World Health Organization.
Costa Rica is a key source of coca leaves for the United States and other countries.
It is the second largest coca growing region in Latin America, according the Costa Rica Department of Health.
According to the report, the Costa Rican government plans to grow the plant at a new coca plantation in the Costa Chirico district, located on the southern edge of the capital, San José.
“Cocoa plantations will allow us to produce coca and improve the health of our population,” Costa Rican President Jose Antonio Costa said at the time of the announcement.
The cocaic production will come from the same area where a new plantation is planned.
“We are looking forward to the arrival of the new cocapid plantation,” Costa Rica President Costa said.
In addition to the Costa chirico plantation, the government plans an expansion of a coca cultivation facility at the nearby Ticos National Park.
Costa Chironio, a professor of agriculture at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Costa Rica (UNACOR) and a member of the national scientific commission on coca, said the plant will be used for coca-based beverages.
“It is the biggest expansion in the area,” he told the Associated Press.
Costa Rican farmers are using a special strain of coco as a biofuel.
The government has promised to use 100 percent coca leaf.
Costa says the plant should not be confused with the more commonly grown coca plants.
“The most important thing is that the coca is a natural product,” Costa said in a statement.
“As a result of its cultivation, the country will have a long-term and sustainable supply of coconuts for our population.”
Costa Rica has a population of 1.2 million people.