Banana Cultivation in Costa Rica Draft #1

This topic submitted by Amy Alesch ( at 3:30 PM on 4/7/05.

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Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University

Banana Cultivation in Costa Rica

In this paper I would like to understand the system of banana cultivation in Costa Rica. I would also like to investigate the cultural significance this crop has, the economic importance of bananas, as well as the environmental effects of banana plantations. It is important to understand the agriculture (both the economic and cultural aspects) of an area. This frames the situation in which other areas of significance must exist—for example, species protection may be affected by the economic needs satisfied by banana plantations.

I. Introduction
A. General background of Costa Rica’s agriculture/crops
B. General comment on the influences of a country’s agriculture
II. History of Bananas in Central America
A. Origin
i. Introduction of bananas into Central America
ii. Trade importance
iii. Conflicts (race, colonialism)
B. Banana Cultivation
i. Life cycle
ii. Threats (disease, pests, necessary weather conditions)
III. Bananas in Costa Rica
A. Location
i. Where grown in Costa Rica
ii. Where exported to
B. Consumers
C. Economic Importance
i. Portion of GDP
ii. # people dependent upon for income
D. Environmental Impacts
i. Deforestation
ii. Pesticide use
iii. Sustainability
E. Social Impacts
i. Racism
ii. Class impacts/economics
IV. Organic Farming
A. Prevalence
B. Success
C. Future
V. Conclusion


Hall, Charles A.S. Quantifying sustainable development: the future of tropical
economies. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 2000.

Salazar, Roxana. “Barriers to Organic Agriculture: The Case of Costa Rica.”
International Development Research Centre (2001): (1-31).

Sass, Robert. “Agricultural “Killing Fields”: The Poisoning of Costa Rican Banana
Workers.” International Journal of Health Services 30 (2000): 491-514.

Sharrock, Suzanne and Emile Frison. “Musa production around the world-trends,
varieties and regional importance.” INIBAP annual report (1999): 42-47.

Vandermeer, John H. Breakfast of biodiversity: the truth about rain forest destruction.
Oakland, CA: Institute for Food and Development Policy, 1995.

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