Costa Rica is known for its biodiversity and natural landscapes. However, like many other nations, it is facing the challenges of climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions and global warming threaten not only ecosystems, but also vital sectors such as agriculture.In this context, organic agriculture has emerged as a tool to address the effects of climate change in Costa Rica and promote the sustainability of the agricultural sector.
Costa Rica has witnessed an increase in temperatures and variations in rainfall patterns, which significantly affect crops and food production. Drought and floods also have a negative effect, reducing the yield and quality of crops. In some cases, they can also increase the incidence of pests and diseases, which can damage entire crops and the producer’s economy.
Organic agriculture has gained popularity in Costa Rica due to its multiple benefits for the environment and people. In contrast to conventional agriculture (which uses pesticides), organic methods eliminate the use of pesticides and promote sustainable agricultural practices that contribute to environmental health and the health of producers and consumers.
But in addition, pesticides contribute to climate change throughout their life cycle through manufacturing, packaging, transportation, application, and even through environmental degradation and disposal. So organic farming also contributes to climate action.
In what sense? Organic farming practices contribute to:
Organic farming systems use techniques such as crop rotation and incorporating organic matter into the soil, which increases the soil’s ability to capture and store atmospheric carbon.
Organic agriculture encourages efficient water use through sustainable irrigation techniques and soil moisture conservation, which helps mitigate the effects of drought on crops.
Biodiversity and Pest Control:
Organic methods promote biodiversity on farms, creating a natural balance that reduces the spread of pests and diseases, thus avoiding the need for harmful pesticides.
The Government of Costa Rica has recognized the importance of organic agriculture as a tool to face the challenges of climate change. However, in practice, no effective support is perceived to implement more organic practices in our fields and educate the population about the harmful effects of pesticides on our health and that of our environment.
Some measures that could be implemented for this are:
Certification and technical support.
Organic certification programs for producers have been established, however, their costs are high and their process cumbersome. The producer should receive technical assistance to adopt organic practices and the certification process should be less expensive.
Incentives and subsidies can be offered for the implementation of sustainable practices, which facilitates the adoption of organic techniques.
Education and awareness.
Education and awareness about the benefits of organic agriculture should be promoted among farmers and the general population.
Technologies that allow the efficient use of water resources with modernized irrigation systems, promote the harvesting of rainwater and build more protected environments should be encouraged.
Organic agriculture is a key strategy to face the challenges of climate change in Costa Rica. By fostering sustainability in the agricultural sector, the country can protect its rich biodiversity, ensure food security and reduce its environmental footprint.Collaboration between government, farmers and civil society is essential to drive a successful transition towards more sustainable and climate resilient agricultural practices.
By promoting sustainable agricultural practices, you can protect the future of the country and ensure that succeeding generations inherit a prosperous and healthy environment. The commitment to organic agriculture in Costa Rica is an investment in the health of the planet and a step towards a truly sustainable future.