Costa Rica - Animal husbandry



About 46% of Costa Rica's total land area was devoted to livestock raising in the early 1990s as the result of a major conversion of land to pasturage during the 1970s. In the past, Costa Rica had to import meat, but recent improvements in animal husbandry have made the country self-sufficient and provided a surplus for export. However, low productivity, low international prices, and high domestic interest rates affected profitability of the beef cattle sector in 1993 and 1994. National milk production in 2001 was an estimated 755 tons, enough to permit exports of excess production. Exports of beef were worth $26.3 million in 2001. In 2001, there were an estimated 1,289,000 head of cattle, 485,000 hogs, 115,000 horses, and 16,900,000 chickens.

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