The agricultural sector in Costa Rica, as in many other developing countries, has been playing an important role in the economic development of the country. This sector presently contributes approximately 30 percent of the gross national product, generates 69 percent of the total foreign exchange, and employs 47 percent of the total labor force in the country. Nevertheless, full use of labor is reflected in the form of open or disguised unemployment in the agricultural sector. There are no reliable estimates of the magnitude of these forms of unemployment, but it is likely that underemployment or migration might have increased. This underemployment of human resources has stimulated a greater migration towards the main cities, causing a disproportionate growth of these urban centers. The disproportionate growth of the urban centers has brought about a sharp increase in the urban centers has brought about a sharp increase in the urban demand for food, which is exerting pressure on the existing marketing channels. In order to avoid inflationary pressures on the economy, it is necessary that increases in the demand for food products be accompanied by a parallel growth in the supply of agricultural products, which will require a matching expansion in the marketing channels.


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