Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Export Banana production systems in Costa Rica: identification of alternative systems for more sustainable production
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. (Marine Ecotoxicology)
(English)In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Green revolution technologies transformed agricultural production. Large-scale, monocropped systems dependent on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides have become the norm for export crop production. This production system, while increasing yields, has deleterious impacts on human health and the environment. This research investigates the level of variation in production practices for export banana production inCosta Rica, in order to identify pioneering producers, who have managed to transform production practices to reduce agrochemical use. Thirty-nine banana producers were interviewed. Correspondence analysis showed that there is not structured variation in export banana producers’ practices, but two other banana production systems identified produce bananas for processing and for the national market: an organic production system and a coffee-banana intercropped system. Although they target different markets, systems level research may reveal ways that these practices can be scaled up to achieve a productive and profitable system producing high-quality export bananas with fewer or no pesticides.

Keyword [en]
Costa Rica, banana, production systems, conventional, organic
National Category
Agricultural Science
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-61845OAI: diva2:438170
Available from: 2011-09-01 Created: 2011-09-01 Last updated: 2011-09-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Costa Rican coffee and bananas: A social-ecological study of management practices and their effects on the environment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Costa Rican coffee and bananas: A social-ecological study of management practices and their effects on the environment
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates the variability in management practices on coffee and banana farms in an attempt to identify practices that reduce the environmental impact of export crop production. Different banana production systems are studied to determine their level of environmental impact. Insect sampling and bird surveys are used to assess the level of ecological quality on banana farms and their surrounding environments. The first two studies are based on interview methods and focus more on the social aspects of the production system. Paper I identifies how farmers utilize labor and herbicides in weed control practices, and found that small-scale coffee farmers overuse herbicides when their relative use of herbicides to labor to control weed densities is compared to their large-scale counterparts and small-scale organic producers. Paper II attempts to identify variability in management practices for the production of export bananas, but instead finds that there is only one type of export banana production system. However, there are lessons to be learned from organic and banana-coffee intercropping systems of production.

Papers III-V use the information gathered in the interview studies of Paper II to give context to the results from analysis of ecological indicators collected from banana farms. Paper III is a comparison of insect community composition on high-input, low-input and organic banana farms. Paper IV is an analysis of aquatic macroinvertebrate in surface water sites upstream and downstream of banana farm canal entry points. Finally, Paper V is a comparison of ecological effects of management practices between Rainforest Alliance certified farms and non-RainforestAlliancecertified farms. Results showed that low-input banana production is not as good as organic production with regards to ecological impact, but it can still make a difference when compared to high-input banana production. Rainforest Alliance certified farms, however, are not low-input systems and the changes that they make in production practices are not enough to influence the quality of the ecological system. These results are encouraging for low-input production systems, but show that standards for Rainforest Alliance certification need to be tougher in order to make an impact on ecological indicators.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University, 2011. 46 p.
Costa Rica, coffee, banana, production system, pesticides, organic, conventional, Rainforest Alliance certification
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Marine Ecotoxicology
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-61221 (URN)978-91-7447-349-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-10-10, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 3: Submitted. Paper 4: Submitted. Paper 5: Manuscript.Available from: 2011-09-19 Created: 2011-08-22 Last updated: 2011-09-16Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Sanderson Bellamy, Angelina
By organisation
Department of Systems Ecology
In the same journal
Agricultural Science

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 176 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link