The Costa Rican government invested approximately ¢96.4 billion (more than $170.3 million) in the farming and livestock sector during 2009, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry (MAG) officials said this week.
The state funneled more than ¢36.5 billion ($64.5 million) toward irrigation and drainage infrastructure, animal and plant waste control plans and projects to consolidate and open new markets. It also dedicated ¢57 billion ($100.7 million) to seed production, credit line approvals, commercialization processes, farmers market
improvements and the National Food Plan.
More than ¢2.9 billion ($5.1 million) was allotted for emergencies, such as the Jan. 8 Cinchona earthquake that decimated cow herds, and for crop yields threatened by this year’s drought.
The agriculture and livestock sector represents 9 percent of Costa Rica’s gross domestic product and employs 12 percent of the population.
The expenditure, according to the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry, benefited close to 60,000 farmers on more than 120,000 hectares of land.