Costa Rica lost 101,000 agricultural hectares in the last 30 years to use them for other activities, especially those related to real estate developments. In the case of corn, the drop in hectares is 44,000, rice lost 34,000 hectares, and coffee and beans lost 6000 and 22,000, respectively.
This is because is more profitable to grow other products, either for logistics or income.
In this regard an increase in oil palm, pineapple, banana, sugar cane and orange is perceived. Other products with hectare increases are melon and cassava.
If analyzed by region, in the Chorotega region rice plantation fell in Abangares, but orange plantation rose in La Cruz.
The research is part of the studies presented in “A Vision of the Agricultural Sector” symposium, organized by the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC). According to Dennis Monge, one of the researchers, a comparison was made of the crops between 1984 and 2014 for crops with greater decreases or increases.
We made a choice to analyze the behavior of the cantons. For example, among the changes we found that before bananas were grown in the South Zone and now in the Caribbean, because it is cheaper to cultivate and export this product that way,”
The researcher cited coffee as a curious case, as it moved from Central Valley to Los Santos and Pérez Zeledón. On the other hand, Tibás, Curridabat and Montes de Oca are no longer cantons with land devoted to planting, as they once were.
The drop in the amount of land devoted to agricultural activities is reflected in a reduction of 8,000 farms.
Despite the reduction in hectares of some products, the fact that the country still allocates more than 40% of the national territory to farming is seen as high by the INEC.
Among the study’s conclusions, the researchers found that there is a substitution of basic grains for export monocultures and agribusiness. Similarly, there is an increase in crops with higher resource requirements, such as equipment, supplies, labor and capital.
There is also a crop substitution, according to the conditions of soil and climate in the regions.