Legislators Approve Organic Farming Law

September 8, 2006

Lawmakers this week approved a law to offer tax incentives and subsidies for certified organic farmers and assistance for others to become certified.

Under the law, which legislators passed unanimously yesterday in second debate, organic farmers will be exempt from income and property tax for 10 years once they have been registered with the Production Ministry and certified, according to Miguel Castro, manager of the government’s organic farming program.

The law will also funnel .01% of the fuel tax to help organic farmers, assist with the costs of organic certification inspections, and allow organic farmers to import work vehicles tax-free.

“There’s a lot of biodiversity (in Costa Rica), if we don’t use organic farming, especially near our protected zones, we’re going to have problems,” said Libertarian Movement legislator Ovidio Agüero, secretary of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Commission.

Agüero added that though many agricultural producers in Costa Rica struggle to find consumers, the organic agricultural industry has a “very interesting international market.”

According to Castro, about half of the 9,000 organic producers in the country are government certified.

The law was passed in first debate Tuesday. It is expected to be put into effect within the next year, Castro said.

 

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