Not just a pretty face
Young Dominican Republic entrepreneurs convert sugar cane land to pineapples
Kisha Rodriquez runs the family enterprise CaraLinda Agroindustrial S.R.L. which in Spanish means “Pretty Face”. She is part of a group of young entrepreneurs in the Monte Plata region in the center of the Dominican Republic that are converting old sugar cane lands, in many cases family farms, into pineapple.
CaraLinda is the name of their family farm and Kisha and her brother started converting pasture land into pineapple two years ago by importing MD-2 pineapple slips from Costa Rica. They now have 125 hectares of pineapple and are exporting to the rest of the Caribbean, the US, Europe, and soon to Israel. They’ve also trademarked their pineapples with the Caralinda brand.
They are bullish on being able to market their pineapples as a premium product because they are sweeter as a result of the favorable sunlight regime and fertile soils of their area of the Dominican Republic. They are also able to guarantee this sweetness arrives at their final destination because of the large number of direct flights to Europe during the winter tourism season. They also have the advantage of shorter maritime routes to Europe compared to Central and South America.
Kisha Rodriquez and her brother are members of a recently formed Monte Plata Pineapple Producers Association composed of similar young professionals who are convinced that by working together they can develop a pineapple export industry with a year around supply of consistent quality and quantity.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture funded Exporting Quality Program is helping exporters such as Kisha certify their production as GlobalG.A.P. as well as upgrade their branding to market their pineapples in premium markets. The Program is also helping the Monte Plata Pineapple Producers Association strengthen their service delivery capacity to their members.
For more information:
Caralinda Agroindustrial S.R.L.
Tel: +1 829 986 8488
Publication date: 10/6/2017
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