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Dominican Republic: MD-2 pineapple cultivation increases
The most experienced pineapple producers in the country are from La Canela, Santiago. Several generations of producers from this community have mainly grown the Red Spanish pineapple the and French smooth Cayenne pineapple varieties.
As a result, the producers refused to cooperate in the first experimental trials with the MD-2 variety to be grown in the premises of the community's leading producers.
Thus, the Ministry of Agriculture's Northern Regional had to carry out the experimental trials in the vicinity of the office of the Sub-area. Farmers became interested in the variety when they observed its development and its resistance to the drought that was affecting the area of La Canela at that time.
Juan Ramon Hidalgo (Joselito) has always produced pineapples. He is the vice-president of the Association of Pineapple producers from La Canela (Apropica), and he says he is very grateful for the MD-2 variety because he can sell it at a better price and it has a good market.
He also said the MD-2 had proven it could resist the drought. The fruit of this variety has a larger size, greater uniformity, and better brix distribution. The only drawback of an MD-2 plantation is its sensitivity to fungal diseases (Phythophtora spp .).
The region of La Canela has low rainfall precipitation, between 900 mm. 950 mms. per year and it is considered a semiarid zone. As a result, its environment is unsuitable for fungi and producers don't have problems with fungal diseases.
Currently, Joselito has 42 hectares planted with pineapples, 35 of which are of the MD-2 variety, and the remaining 7 of the smooth Cayenne variety. Ignacio Andres Pichardo, a producer of pineapples and president of Apropica, is also greatly satisfied with the introduction of this variety, which has lifted the spirits of pineapple producers that now have good prospects for the immediate future.
Andres Pichardo and Ramon Hidalgo said the priority of the partners of Apropica (which is formed by 65 members) was to obtain financing, and to procure machinery and equipment for the preparation of the grounds. In the medium term, they plan to construct a packaging to export their pineapples.
The Ministry of Agriculture has been supplying good quality tillers of the MD-2 variety to the farmers that are interested in this variety, through the Department of Fruit, and technical advice through their Northern Regional Office.
1,250,000 MD-2 pineapples planted
According to Andrés Ignacio Pichardo currently now seeded 1,250,000 tillers of the variety MD-2. The Ministry of Agriculture provided some 950,000 tillers, while the remaining were purchased from producers. In La Canela there are 416 hectares planted with the MD-2 variety, nearly 317 of which were seeded with tillers provided by the Ministry of Agriculture. It should be noted that the Ministry also collaborates with producers in the plowing, harrowing, and others jobs involved in preparing the ground for planting this fruit.
Publication date: 1/3/2017
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