Agronomists seeking modern update of country’s rules on agrochemicals

The agronomy colegio asked the government Wednesday to loosen the knot that ties farmers to 15-year-old agrochemical rules.

The organization, the  Colegio de Ingenieros Agrónomos, asked the minister of agriculture to solve a problem that it said has paralyzed the registration of new chemicals. The organization, speaking via the president, Eugenio Porras Vargas, said that there is new technology that farmers here cannot use because the chemicals are not registered for use.

He said that March 6, 2013, with much hoopla a bill was introduced that would reform the agrochemical regulations. Now, a year and nine months later, nothing has happened, he said.

Costa Rican farmers, particularly the monoculture operations of banana and pineapples, have been criticized for excessive use of pesticides and fungicides. Porras said that obsolete chemicals not only reduce the competitivity of farmers but also put in jeopardy humans and sustainability in the fields. Some rural towns have unwelcome concentrations of pesticides in the drinking water.

An increase in the production of food is within reach of Costa Rican farmers if the agrochemical registry were made modern and efficient, he said.

He called upon the  Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería to work with the Ministerio de Salud and the Ministerio del Ambiente to create a guide that interprets the existing regulations. Presumably the interpretations would be looser.

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