costaricaCosta Rica is located in Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea on the eastern side and the Pacific Ocean on the western side. Its population is 4.8 million, and the name of its capital city is San Jose. The country comprises several islands out of which Calero is the largest island. Costa Rica enjoys international reputation in terms of its high ratings on democracy, Human Development Index, Environmental Performance Index, Happy Planet Index, and tourism not to mention its rich biodiversity of plants and animals.

Costa Rica comprises seven administrative provinces, which are divided into 81 cantons. The cantons are sub-divided into 473 districts.  Main climate of Costa Rica is tropical throughout the year with distinct dry and wet seasons, considered locally as summer and winter respectively.  However, the country has a variety of micro-climates that vary with the terrain and location. There is both high rain and humidity on the Caribbean coastal area.

Context

Context

The agriculture sector is of great economic importance. Industrial crops that are mostly grown by certain global companies (examples: Chiquita, Dole, Fyffe’s, Del Monte) on monoculture plantations for export purposes include coffee (most important in terms of worldwide recognized high quality and export earnings), bananas (another major export crop), pineapples, sugar cane (largely for domestic consumption), and ornamental plants. Main food crops, vegetables and fruits are rice, corn, oranges, tropical fruits, and potatoes. About 10 percent of the cultivated land is irrigated. Subsistence farming and agro-forestry are practiced by indigenous tribes. Agro-processing is popular.

Key Statistics and Indicators

Indicator

Value

Year  

Agricultural land (sq km)

Agricultural land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares)

Arable land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares per person)

18,800

36.81

250,000

4.89

0.05

2011

2011

2011

2011

2011

Fertilizer consumption (kg per hectare of arable land)

826.62

2009

Agriculture, value added (% of GDP)

Food production index (2004-2006 = 100)

Food exports (% of merchandise exports)

Food imports (% of merchandise imports)

6.34

113.64

35.19

8.75

2012

2011

2011

2011

GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$)

8740

2012

Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above)

Literacy rate, youth female (% of females ages 15-24)

Literacy rate, youth male (% of males ages 15-24)

Ratio of young literate females to males (% ages 15-24)

Ratio of female to male secondary enrollment (%)

96.15

98.66

97.82

100.86

105.47

2010

2010

2010

2010

2011

Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people)

Internet users (per 100 people)

92.20

42.12

2011

2011

Population, total

Population density (people per sq. km of land area)

Rural population

Rural population (% of total population)

Agricultural population (% of total population)*

Total economically active population

Total economically active population in agriculture*

Total economically active population in agriculture (in %

    of total economically active population)

Female economically active population in agriculture (% of

     total economically active population in agriculture)*

4,805,295

92.78

1,676,971

34.89

15.35

2,252,521

322,000

14.29

12.73

2012

2011

2012

2012

2010

2011

2010

2010

2010

Sources: The World Bank; *Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations  FAO

Acknowledgements

  • Authored by M. Kalim Qamar (September 2013)
  • Edited by Burton E. Swanson