Agrochemicals: Bureaucracy Impedes Improving Supply

Although in Costa Rica the procedures for approving new pesticides that enter the market should take a few weeks, there are processes that have not been processed for more than ten years, which prevents increasing and improving the supply of products.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The State Phytosanitary Service (SFE), which is part of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, accumulates dozens of files that are still pending approval, including some that have been waiting for more than a decade.

You may be interested in "Agrochemicals: Imports up to September 2018

SFE figures indicate that the number of requests for active ingredients submitted between 2008 and 2019 totals 159, of which 138 are in the first and second reviews and 21 have not initiated any internal procedures within the institution.

In the case of requests made, the number increases to 226, of which 60 have already started the process and 166 are pending review.

According to the authorities' version, the process under normal conditions is simple and agile. Arlet Vargas, head of the Agrochemical Registry Unit of the SFE, explained to that "... If in this first review the company completes everything and the criteria are positive, the registration is issued at once."

Against the position of the authorities, Álvaro Sáenz, former president of the Chamber of Agriculture and current fiscal coordinator of the Agriculture Regulatory Commission, said that "... The complaint is clear: the deadlines for approving or rejecting the registration of new pesticides are not met. Agrochemicals are the medicines of plants. In this context, farmers are claiming for more modern medicines to compete better."

The SFE's approval of the formulated or active ingredient is only a part of the process, because in order to be approved, it must also be authorized by the Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minae) and the Ministry of Health, which makes the situation more complex.

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