Costa Rica to Cut Rice Subsidies

In 2009 the country's agricultural subsidy bill reached $92 million with "almost all going toward the rice sector".

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pressure from the World Trade Organization (WTO), which received complaints from 35 countries on this subject, has led the Costa Rican government to study a proposal to present to rice growers.

In an article published on, the country's Trade Minister, Anabel González, is reported saying in a press conference that, "this is a technical issue and we are reviewing options. It is a subject we take very seriously due to the consequences it could have for the country".

Subsidies received by Costa Rica's rice producers is six times that permitted by the WTO, which set a limit of $16 million for agricultural subsidies. Moreover, the subsidies paid have been steadily increasing over recent years from $23 million in 2007 to $100 million forecast for 2010.

More on this topic

Costa Rica: Rice Subsidy Only benefits Large Producers

May 2012

In Costa Rica, the current mechanism mainly benefits 30 large producers, who received $80 million in subsidies in 2011.

Despite warnings from the WTO, Costa Rica continues to subsidize rice production, a benefit which actually goes to about 30 large companies, rather than groups of small producers, and is "an unnecessary risk" according to the former Foreign Trade Minister Alberto Trejos, who added that "it is like going to the Country Club in Escazú to hand out Family Allowance resources."

Costa Rica: $104 million in Rice Subsidies in 2011

May 2012

In the last 5 years the pricing system in force has transferred more than $390 million from the pockets of consumers to rice producers.

A statement of the Ministry of Commerce reads:

Rice sector subsidies in excess of $100 million for the second year

San Jose, May 8th, 2012.

Pressure Piles On Costa Rica to Remove Rice Subsidies

April 2011

The country presented its new national rice policy before the World Trade Organization.

It aims to address competitiveness issues and to solve the lack of compliance with international regulations on domestic agricultural subsidies.

Although this new strategy was welcomed at the WTO, many countries believe it is not enough, especially because the country has not specified a date to remove the subsidy mechanism.

Costa Rica: Authorities and Rice Producers Analyze Rice Subsidy

October 2010

The parties created a working group to come up with a solution to the conflict generated by rice subsidies.

The problem arose by questioning submitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) from 35 countries.

La Nacion, reports on their website, "The basic point of the problem is the price of the grain. This is the only product which price continues to be set by law."

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