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According to international organizations
Dominican Rep agricultural power in Central America and Caribbean

The Dominican Republic has become, at agricultural level, a regional power in Central America and the Caribbean, said representatives of international organizations accredited in the country. They ensure that this achievement in recent years is the result of the large investment by the Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, and regained producers confidence. This was considered by Isaac Tsai, Taiwan's amabassador in the country; Antonio Fernández, agricultural attaché of the Embassy of Spain; Margie Bauer, agricultural advisor of the Embassy of the United States, and Miguel Marrero, a representative of the International Regional Organization for Agricultural Health (OIRSA).

Fernández said that "Agriculture in the Dominican Republic, in many respects, is a regional power at the farm level. In Central America and the Caribbean, Dominican emerges as a nation of greater importance".

He meant that from the technical point of view, agriculture in the country is well advanced in economic and agricultural matters, because it has increased exports to European Union nations".

He said that Dominican Republic exports between 50 to 60% of bananas consumed in the European market, "Over the past four years it has tripled its sales in Spain, because the fruit produced in the Dominican Republic has high quality, it's healthy, and because it is economically acceptable and benefits both to Spanish consumers and Dominican producers", he said.

The Spanish embassy official in the country said that the traditional cooperation between the Dominican Republic and Spain, in the area of agriculture, is based on specific and multilateral programs; which are reinforced by the European Union, which run on the training centers of the Spanish Cooperation in Latin America.

He clarified that the contributions of Spain consist on technical cooperation, courses, training and exchange of professionals.

Meanwhile, Marrero, OIRSA representative, stressed that the biggest efforts of the authorities of the official sector, private and supportive partners, have allowed the agricultural sector to expand and develop.

"There has been a significant advance currently, since 4,500 containers of bananas are exported weekly, 25% of banana production is being exported to the European market, where health and safety conditions are very demanding, surpassing in that item the US$200 million", said Marrero.

The OIRSA representative added that in the line of oriental vegetables, Dominican Republic was able to reduce drastically the automatic withholding in the United States and Europe, because Dominican producers have welcomed the recommendations of the technical officers and international organizations.

"In oriental vegetables we are exporting to Europe, Canada and the United States more than US$80 million, plus mangoes, whose producers have improved the quality of that fruit, pineapple and other items; also, greenhouses have grown, allowing the country and producers to have a cost-effective healthcare", he said.

He highlighted the joint efforts (support all initiatives that benefit the country) of the government, employers, and the producers, whose work is closely followed by international agencies.

While the Ambassador of Taiwan, Tsai said that the government of his country provides aid to Dominican Republic to share expertise and technology to that Dominican Republic's agricultural sector forwards.

He clarified that the Taiwanese mission cooperates in agricultural technical advisory. "Our country supports three projects, a laboratory in La Vega; another one with the Piñeiro sector in La Vega and in the Cooperativa de Fruticultores (Fruticultores)".

He said that Taiwan will continue this year providing financial and technical resources to the Ministry of Agriculture to control diseases such as Huanglongbin, which affects plantations of citrus and other fruits.

Mrs. Bauer, agricultural counselor at the Embassy of the United States, said her country takes on Dominican products, because the authorities and producers have achieved excellent progress in plant health in agriculture.

"The Dominican agricultural sector must continue its development to produce the products that the Dominican people needs", she said.

The North American embassy official noted that her government supports two agricultural development programs for US$22 million, involving the Ministry of Agriculture.

Source: Elnuevodiario

Publication date: 6/14/2011


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