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US considers restrictions on Costa Rican pineapples

Staff writer |
The US has had a sharp increase in the amount of shipments intercepted that found Costa Rican pineapple and chayote exports with pests and diseases. The country is threatening restrictions on these exports.

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This problem has risen significantly in the past two years, the US phytosanitary administration notes.

The numbers include 447 pineapple pest interceptions and 285 chayote pest interceptions in 2014.

Chayote production sustains 2,000 families in Ujarrás Valley, Cartago. Almost all of the exports go to the US. This export brings in $16 million annually. The US acquires 51% of Costa Rica’s pineapple exports, which was $445 million in 2014.

Costa Rica’s Department of Agriculture and the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry are in dialogue with the cultural counselor of the US Embassy on these phytosanitary issues. It is not yet clear whether the problems originate in the fields or on the platforms on which exported goods are placed, such as contaminated pallets or boats.

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