This project investigated the legal, socioeconomic, and environmental issues associated with rice production in the Tempisque Basin, which is governed by a combination of domestic regulations and international trade agreements. The Basin plays an important role in domestic rice production, providing 45% of total domestic rice and employing many small and large farmers. While the Tempisque Basin is the nation’s most productive area for rice, a closer look at local agricultural practices suggests that more efficient methods are available. The project report recommends that rice be used to mitigate nutrients from agricultural practices in the basin by following suggested management practices and by utilizing irrigation from the drainage canals. In addition, implementing a program of payments for environmental services (PES) in lieu of price controls on rice could have the threefold benefit of ensuring compliance with the Central American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization, protecting small farmers and poor consumers while ensuring food sovereignty, and improving ecosystem health.
Resources: Karpinski, Elise (Elon University); Malafa, Nalowa (University of Florida); Mander, Gentry (University of Florida); Nealis, Charlie (University of Florida). “Rice Production Conflicts in the Tempisque-Bebedero Watershed”
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