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Global Crop Protection Product Trends: An Inside Look at Key Central America Markets

Central America can best be considered as the “land-bridge” or isthmus that separates North America from South America. The land mass makes up most of the isthmus that separates the Pacific Ocean to the west from the Caribbean Sea in the east. It extends some 1,140 miles long from the northwest to the southeast. At its narrowest point the isthmus is approximately just 30 miles wide and that point is also the location of the Panama Canal.

Asides being an important country for agriculture in its own right Panama via the Canal is estimated to provide transit to close to 50% of all U.S. soybean exports in a normal year; as well as a significant proportion of other agricultural crops from both North and South America. In addition, Panama Central America comprises six other countries: El Salvador, Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The region is also distinct from the Caribbean, which is a much wider geography and includes Cuba.

Agriculture in the different Central American countries ranges from export orientated in the case of Guatemala and Costa Rica to that of a more subsistence focus as in Nicaragua. The size of the overall economy of Guatemala and the strong importance of agriculture in that economy makes it the largest agricultural economy in the region by some margin. This is despite it not having the largest agricultural land area as indicated in Table 1. In the case of Guatemala four of the top five export commodities are agricultural with bananas, coffee, raw sugar, and palm accounting for close to US $3 billion of exports. For Costa Rica, bananas and other tropical fruits (mainly pineapples) are the top two exports in value terms accounting for US $3.2 billion. In both cases the U.S. is the largest trading partner for exports.

Source : https://www.agribusinessglobal.com/agrochemicals/global-crop-protection-product-trends-an-inside-look-at-key-central-america-markets/