Costa Rica's pesticide use is too high, claim scientists

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Costa Rica's pesticide use is too high, claim scientists

Costa Rica imported 13,871 metric tons (MT) of pesticides last year which experts describe as alarmingly high, website reported.

A study by Universidad Nacional's Institute for Studies on Toxic Substances (IRET) said the country uses the highest levels per hectare in the world.

The report recorded the country's imports of active ingredient pesticides from 2008-2010 as ranging from 12,000 to 14,000MT.

Researchers said the slowness in reducing these levels was due to the complexity of change in achieving more environmentally friendly production.

In particular, they highlighted the number of hectares for pineapple plantations had risen by 3% from 2009-2010 to 486,602 hectares creating conflict between the balance of cultivated and green land.

Agriculture and livestock minister Gloria Abraham, recognized the issue was concerning but queried the study's figures which differed from the state's phytosanitary service data.

Abraham said Costa Rica's location in a tropical zone with high humidity meant cultivated crops were particularly at risk to pests and diseases.


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