The fertilizer and pesticide market is highly dependent on imports, which in 2019 totaled $595 million.
- A.M. Costa Rica wire services illustrative  photo -

Published Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Fertilizers and pesticides possibly
exported to Ecuador, study says

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A study on the opportunities to export pesticides and fertilizers to Ecuador by Costa Rica's Export Promotion Agency was announced on Tuesday.

According to the study, there is an export potential for products such as: substitute pesticides and fertilizers for some that have recently been banned from use; those used in organic production (which, although not widely carried out in Ecuador, offers the opportunity to be one of the first suppliers in the market), or to be applied in new agricultural products such as quinoa.

The fertilizer and pesticide market is highly dependent on imports, which in 2019 totaled $595 million ($327 million in fertilizers and $268 million in pesticides), the agency said.

The industrial use of these products is incipient in Ecuador. In the case of pesticides, it is estimated at 20% of imports.

By geographical area, Guayas and Pichincha concentrate the largest number of distributors, but Tungurahua could be valued since it has a high concentration of agricultural warehouses (128 per 1000 km2), which could demand differentiated products; and Manabí, which appears as a large producer of cocoa, corn and coffee, but with lower yields than other productive areas.

According to the agency, in order to participate in this market, it is important to note that there are three aspects most valued by Ecuadorian importers when choosing a new supplier: the support they receive with information, costs for the registration of products, and getting good value for money. The study recommends that exporters train farmers and distributors in different topics.

The agricultural authorities of Ecuador are working hard in the promotion and training of farmers on the issue of good agricultural practices, which encourages distributors and farmers to look for products that make it easier for them to comply with these guidelines while respecting the maximum limits of waste, using new technologies, seeking the protection of the environment (for example protection of bees), among other qualities.

The study also mentions that to export to the Ecuadorian market, Costa Rican companies can take the following paths:

• Sell to distribution companies and have them register the products in their name with their own brand, import in bulk/concentrate, repackage and distribute.

• Sell to distribution companies and have them register with the Costa Rican manufacturer's brand and import and distribute the product ready to be marketed at retail (sometimes, it can be exclusively).

• The Costa Rican manufacturing company could register the products in its name and import directly or assign the import right to different distributors who would carry out the import process, but for this, the Costa Rican company must open a company in the importing country.

• There are also opportunities to sell to importers for own consumption (eg trade unions and production companies that wish to opt for this figure).

In the last five years, Ecuador has been a net importer of products from Costa Rica, mainly products such as drugs, insecticides and fungicides, metalworking, as well as electrical and electronics. Therefore, strengthening and expanding opportunities for Costa Rican companies is considered necessary to consolidate ourselves in this market, the agency said.

According to the agency, the agriculture, forestry and hunting sectors represent 8% of Ecuador's GDP, its offer includes products such as bananas, cocoa, pineapple, sugar cane, among others, which are destined for the local market and for export. Currently, Ecuador is committed to and differentiating its offer through the intense promotion of its "Premium and Sustainable" brand.


What other Costa Rican agricultural products could be appealing to international consumers?
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