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Costa Rica

ISO: 
CRI
Subregion: 
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French: 
Costa Rica
Spanish: 
Costa Rica
DMP_ID: 
56
ASTI-Country: 
1
Main Agency Acronym(s): 
INTA

Costa Rica: ASTI–INTA Country Factsheet

ASTI publicaiton cover

Authors:
COSTA RICA Sandra Perez, Enrique Martinez, Nienke Beintema, and Kathleen Flaherty

Year:
2015

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute and National Institute of Agricultural Innovation and Technology Transfer.

Publication category

Latin America and the Caribbean

Related country page(s)
Costa Rica

Costa Rica has the largest and most advanced agricultural research system in Central America; government agencies predominate, supplemented by strong—and growing— higher education and nonprofit sectors.

Costa Rica invests more than its neighbors in the region, spending slightly more than 1 percent of its AgGDP on agricultural R&D (equal to 0.06 percent when compared to the country’s total GDP). However, spending levels fell during 2009–2012 and have most likely continued to fall since then.

The national number of agricultural researcher fell during 2009–2012 due to a sharp decline in the number of researchers employed at INTA, the country’s main agricultural research agency. As a result, by 2012 the higher education sector employed twice as many agricultural researchers as INTA.

Costa Rica: Ficha Técnica -Indicadores de I+D Agropecuario

Costa Rica tiene el sistema de investigación agropecuaria más extenso y moderno en Centroamérica; predominan las agencias públicas, a las que se suman los sectores de la educación superior y de las entidades sin fines de lucro, que son sólidos y están en crecimiento.

Autores: 
Sandra Perez, Enrique Martinez, Nienke Beintema y Kathleen Flaherty
Ano: 
2015
Cover image: 
Publisher: 
Instituto Internacional de Investigación sobre Políticas Alimentarias y el Instituto de Innovación y Transferencia de Tecnología Agropecuaria.
Publication Region: 
Countries: 
Language: 

Costa Rica

Countries: 
CountryName: 
Costa Rica
Combined Profile Directory: 
1

Costa Rica

  • Costa Rica cuenta con el sistema más amplio y avanzado de investigación agropecuaria de la región. El INTA lleva a cabo la mayor parte de dicha investigación, conjuntamente con distintos organismos descentralizados de investigación y divulgación en las universidades estatales, entre las cuales están la Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), la Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica (UNA) y la Universidad Tecnológica (UT). Hay diversas iniciativas privadas de investigación que se centran en el banano, el café y la caña de azúcar.
Countries: 
Country Code: 
CRI

ASTI–IICA Regional Report

ASTI publicaiton cover

Authors:
Stads, Gert-Jan; Hartwich, Frank; Rodríguez, David; Enciso, Francisco

Year:
2008

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); and Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)

Publication category

Latin America and the Caribbean

Related publication(s)

ASTI–IICA Summary Brief

Although the countries in Central America share many cultural and socioeconomic characteristics, important national differences of relevance to agricultural R&D exist  among them. In countries like Guatemala and El Salvador, agricultural R&D is largely undertaken by government agencies, whereas most of the research in Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica is conducted by higher education agencies. In addition, the nongovernmental sector—which includes producer organizations plays a significant role in carrying out agricultural R&D in Honduras and Costa Rica.

In terms of capacity, Belize—the region’s smallest country—employed just 17 fte scientists in agricultural R&D in 2006 compared with 283 fte’s in Costa Rica. Central America as a whole spent $92 million (in 2005 constant prices) on agricultural R&D in 2006, equivalent to 0.31 percent of the region’s agricultural output. Although these totals would be somewhat higher if expenditures by regional agencies like CATIE were included, they are still very low compared with other parts of Latin America, other developing regions, and especially the developed world.

Costa Rica has the region’s most advanced agricultural R&D system and plays an important role in the development of new technologies, particularly for the emergent horticulture and food processing industries. In 2006, Costa Rica accounted for one-third of total Central American agricultural R&D spending, closely followed by Nicaragua. INTA—Nicaragua’s national agricultural research agency, which receives the vast majority of its budget from donors and multilateral development banks—accounted for nearly one-fifth of Central America’s agricultural R&D spending in 2006. Growth in agricultural R&D spending varied greatly across countries. During 1996–2006, Costa Rica experienced a 30 percent growth in its agricultural R&D investments, whereas spending in El Salvador and Guatemala
shrank by more than 40 percent.

Sources of agricultural R&D funding also differ widely across Central American countries. Research in El Salvador and Panama relies almost exclusively on funds provided by their national governments. Public agricultural R&D in Nicaragua, on the other hand, has traditionally been highly donor-dependent. Agencies in Costa Rica and Honduras show an increasing reliance on internally generated resources compared with other countries in the region, which can partly be explained by the
large nongovernmental sectors in these countries.

Linkages among the Central American countries have grown in the past decade, as have linkages with the United States—Central America’s largest trading partner. Although CAFTA, the free trade agreement, may have a negative effect on some of the region’s agricultural industries, it also offers broad economic opportunities to the region. To take advantage of these opportunities, the countries of Central America will have to overcome a range of challenges that affect its competitiveness. An often-voiced concern is that the region’s overall performance in agricultural innovation and capacity has been held back due to the fragmented nature of the region’s agricultural R&D systems and the lack of efficiency, for example, in term of duplication of effort. New innovation system and networking theory suggests that it is
not only the capacity of R&D agents and users that determine the level of innovation in the agricultural sector, but also the level of interaction, collaboration, and exchange of information and knowledge.

Greater economies of scope and scale could be achieved if the countries of Central America continue to integrate their agricultural R&D systems within each country, as a region, and in terms of the broader innovation system. Although some progress has already been made in this regard (for example, SICTA), integration should be extended to include nongovernmental institutions, producer organizations, the higher education sector, and the private for-profit sector. In addition to enhanced integration, a boost in agricultural R&D investments is called for—particularly in Guatemala and El Salvador—if Central America is to enhance smallholder production, cut (rural) poverty and to compete with top-quality agricultural products in a global market.

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