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Dominican Republic imports plantains as price skyrockets

The Agriculture Ministry on Friday announced authorizations to import plantains (green banana) as skyrocketing prices from a year-long drought and Tropical Storm Erika flattened plantations, unleashing shortages and consumer worries.

The spiraling price of one plantain, now at an unprecedented RD$30 (US$0.66) depending on size, on Wednesday prompted Agriculture minister Angel Estevez to chide: “Buy potatoes at eight pesos the pound instead.”

In a statement, Agriculture Ministry spokesman Pedro Jimenez said the decision taken Thursday night was coordinated with plantain producers, supermarkets and marketing companies to agree on imports after conducting a survey on plantations.

"We realized that this shortage can be extended and we cannot allow a plantain to cost 25 or 30 pesos," the official said.

He stressed that the measure would be in effect until domestic harvests recover, adding that the plantains would be imported from Costa Rica and other area countries.


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