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Costa Rica promotes pesticide-free rice farming

Costa Rica promotes pesticide-free rice farming

http://www.ticotimes.net/2016/10/18/pesticide-free-rice-costa-ricaA joint program of the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry (MAG) and the Economy and Industry Ministry (MEIC) seeks to promote the production and marketing of pesticide-free rice in the country.

Officials from both ministries recently presented the results of a four-year project developed in Cañas, in the province of Guanacaste, which resulted in a new product they call EcoArroz (Eco Rice).

Project manager Andrés Vásquez developed the organic production system of EcoArroz to “preserve the soil’s natural cycle and respect the ecosystem,” the ministries reported.

Vásquez explained that instead of using pesticides to control pests and diseases, the project used plants and insects as natural barriers to protect rice crops. The process also allowed them keep the production cycle as natural as possible, he said. 

Farmers used wasps and ladybugs, which feed on the mites and larvae that damage rice crops.

They also transformed farm waste into organic fertilizers and developed an optimized water system for irrigation.

According to Vásquez, contrary to popular belief, the lack of chemicals does not alter the shelf life of rice; “on the contrary, it provides more minerals and the rice is more nutritious.” read more at ticotimes.net