This Review of Agricultural Policies: Costa Rica is one of a series of reviews of national agricultural policies undertaken by the OECD’s Committee for Agriculture. The Committee for Agriculture is one of the OECD technical committees mandated by the OECD Council to carry out an accession review of Costa Rica.

The OECD Council decided to open accession discussions with Costa Rica on 9 April 2015. On 8 July 2015, the Council adopted a Roadmap for the Accession of Costa Rica to the OECD Convention [C(2015)93/FINAL] (hereafter “the Roadmap”) setting out the terms, conditions and process for accession. The Roadmap provides that in order to allow the Council to take an informed decision on the accession of Costa Rica, Costa Rica will undergo in-depth reviews by 22 OECD technical committees, including the Committee for Agriculture, which will then provide the Council with a formal opinion evaluating Costa Rica’s willingness and ability to implement OECD legal instruments within its competence, and evaluating Costa Rica’s policies and practices as compared to OECD best policies and practices in the area of agriculture. Costa Rica submitted an Initial Memorandum setting out its initial positions on each of the substantive OECD legal instruments in force on 16 February 2016.

This Review is being used as a background document for the accession review currently being undertaken by the OECD Committee for Agriculture as part of the process for Costa Rica’s accession to the OECD. In accordance with paragraph 14 of Costa Rica’s Accession Roadmap, the Committee for Agriculture agreed to declassify the report in its current version and publish it under the authority of the Secretary-General, in order to allow a wider audience to become acquainted with the issues raised in the report. Publication of this document and the analysis and recommendations contained therein does not prejudge in any way the results of the ongoing review of Costa Rica by the Committee for Agriculture as part of its process of accession to the OECD.

The Review examines the agricultural policy context and the main trends in Costa Rica’s agriculture sector. It classifies and measures the support provided to agriculture using the same method the OECD employs to monitor agricultural policies in OECD countries and a growing number of non-member economies, such as Brazil, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine and Viet Nam. At the request of the Costa Rican authorities, the Review includes a special chapter on the adaptation of agriculture to climate change. The Review is also a precursor in regular engagement by Costa Rican on agricultural policy issues with the OECD through the annual OECD publication Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation.

The study was carried out by the Development Division of the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate (TAD) in co-operation with the Natural Resources Policy Division (TAD). Dalila Cervantes-Godoy co-ordinated the report and was one of the authors together with Laura Munro. Chapter 1 benefited from a first draft delivered by Julianne Jansen and Emily Gray. The assessment and policy recommendation Chapter greatly benefited from inputs from Julia Nielson. Background information was provided by Carlos Pomareda, Rafael Trejo and Francisco Sancho (all from Costa Rica). Clara Thompson-Lipponen provided editorial support. The database for Producer Support Estimates and the associated analytical work was undertaken by Florence Bossard and Dalila Cervantes-Godoy. Statistical support was provided by Florence Bossard with contributions from Karine Souvanheuane. Anita Lari provided administrative and secretarial assistance. Anita Lari, Michèle Patterson and Janine Treves (from OECD/PAC) provided publication support. Ken Ash, Carmel Cahill, Julia Nielson, Frank Jesus, Pedro Caro de Sousa (from OECD/DAF), Jared Greenville, Andrzej Kwiecin´ski, Julien Hardelin, Natalie Limbasan (from OECD/LEG), and OECD member country delegations furnished valuable comments on drafts of the report.

The Review benefited greatly from the support provided by the Costa Rican Executive Secretariat for Agricultural Sector Planning (SEPSA) and from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG). Ana Isabel Gómez, Miriam Valverde, Edgar Mata, Francini Araya and Ricardo Quesada, all collaborators of SEPSA, were the main contacts and liaison person on all aspects of the study.

The study also benefited from substantive inputs from the team of experts from the Costa Rican government: Roberto Azofeifa (MAG), Lorena Jimenez (MAG), Roberto Flores (SEPSA), María Mercedes Flores (SEPSA), Henry Benavides (COMEX), Federico Arias (COMEX), Vivian Campos (COMEX), Manuel Tovar (COMEX), Andrea Meza Murillo (MINAE), Pascal Girot (MINAE) and Marianela Borbon (former MAG employee). Experts from other government agencies such as the Central Bank of Costa Rica, Ministry of Finance, National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC), Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), Ministry for National Planning and Economic Policy (MIDEPLAN), National Insurance Institute (INS), Development Banking System (SBD), National Meteorological Institute (IMN), National Commission for Risk Prevention and Emergency Care, etc. provided data and essential information. The study also benefited from the input of staff from MAG and its related entities and participants at preparatory meetings and consultations in San José, including researchers from academia and experts from international organisations such as Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), US Embassy, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Central American Bank of Economic Integration (BCIE).

Other substantial information was provided by MAG’s associated institutions such as The National Institute of Innovation and Transfer of Agricultural Technology (INTA), the National Animal Health Service (SENASA), the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE), the National Seed Office (ONS), the National Council Club 4-S (CONAC), the Rural Development Institute (INDER), the National Production Council (CNP), the National Irrigation and Drainage Service (SENARA), the Comprehensive Agricultural Marketing Programme (PIMA) and the Costa Rican Fishing Institute (INCOPESCA). Other important information was also provided by different farmer organisations such as: the National Rice Corporation (CONARROZ), the Costa Rica Coffee Institute (ICAFE), the National Banana Corporation (CORBANA), the Agricultural Industrial League of Sugarcane (LAICA), the Livestock Development Corporation (CORFOGA): CORFOGA, the National Chamber of Pineapple Producers and Exporters (CANAPEP), the National Chamber of Palm Producers (CANAPALMA), the National Chamber of Milk Producers (PROLECHE), the Costa Rican Chamber of Pork Producers (CAPORC), the National Chamber of Poultry Producers (CANAVI), the National Chamber of Coffee, the National Chamber of Agriculture and Agribusiness (CNAA), and the Union of Small-scale Farmers (UPANACIONAL).

Preparation of the Review has been undertaken in close co-operation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) of Costa Rica, as well as the Ministry of Trade (COMEX) and the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE). The study was reviewed at an in-country Roundtable in San José in July 2016 with the participation of MAG and its associated agencies, representatives from the Ministry of Trade and from the Ministry of Environment, and stakeholders. Subsequently, the Costa Rican delegation led by the Minister of Agriculture Mr. Luis Felipe Arauz Cavallini, participated in the peer review of Costa Rican agricultural policies by the OECD’s Committee for Agriculture at its 167th session in November 2016. We are grateful to Mitchel Wensley and Sudarma Samarajeewa (Canada), Carla Boonstra and Jen Sevenster (Netherlands) and Mark Cropper (European Union) for serving as lead discussants during this peer review. While the OECD very much appreciates the involvement of Costa Rican officials from the initial discussions of the study outline through to the peer review and final revisions, the final report remains the sole responsibility of the OECD.