San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Environmentalists: Pineapple Crops Cause Damage

ALTHOUGH pineapple is one of thecountry’s most profitable exports, generating$160 million so far this year, environmentalistssay pineapple production damages theenvironment, La República reported.Pineapple production pollutes rivers,causes erosion, generates excessive wasteand damages biodiversity, according to thedaily.From 2002 to July of this year, thearea used to grow this fruit in Costa Ricahas expanded by 10,000 hectares, whichproduces a considerable environmentalimpact in the country’s northern,Caribbean and southern Pacific zones,where pineapple crops are grown.According to Alexis Vásquez, directorof the National Institute of Innovationand Agricultural Technology Transfer,chemicals sprayed on pineapples affecttowns located near plantations.Residents of the Northern Zone constantlycomplain about the use of insecticides,the destruction of trails and excesswaste that attracts flies and produces astench. However, pineapple producers saythey comply with all regulations.“Every farm nowadays must establishan environmental protection program,more than anything because internationalorganizations require it,” Alexis Quesada,director of the National PineappleProgram of Pital in San Carlos, in thecountry’s Northern Zone, told the daily.

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