Country Listing

Nicaragua Table of Contents



Cotton was Nicaragua's second biggest export earner in the 1980s. A latecomer to Nicaraguan agriculture, cotton became feasible as an export crop only in the 1950s, when pesticides were developed that permitted high yields in tropical climates. Cotton soon became the crop of choice for large landowners along the central Pacific coast. As the amount of land under cultivation grew, however, erosion and pollution from the heavy use of pesticides became serious problems. Lack of credit for planting, a drop in world cotton prices, and competition from Chile discouraged cotton production in the mid-1980s. Production of cotton dropped significantly in the 1980s, and the 1989 crop of 22,000 tons was less than a third of that produced in 1985.

Data as of December 1993