Spanish queen visits organic banana plantation in the Dominican Republic

Queen Letizia of Spain arrived in Haiti's capital on Tuesday, May 22, after concluding a visit to the Dominican Republic to promote cooperation projects financed with the support of her country.

Prior to her arrival in Haiti, Letizia visited the Dominican Republic, where she toured an organic banana plantation under the guidance of a woman who, together with other artisanal farmers, had managed to export her products to Europe through micro-credits.

Diana Cespedes, 45, showed Letizia the production process on her land in the village of Tramojos (125 kilometers west of the capital) and told her how, about ten years ago, she got a first loan to start production (of about $300) through a bank that receives support from a Spanish financial institution.

The woman had invited Letizia to visit her plot in 2017, when she met her during a trip to Spain to offer her testimony at a conference organized by the Spanish bank. "I never thought this dream would come true; I feel happy, I feel proud," Cespedes told reporters after her meeting with the Spanish queen.

Cespedes is a member of a cooperative of small farmers that began producing organic bananas to export to Europe thanks to micro credits. The 24 members of the cooperative Los Taínos have been able to take their families out of poverty through banana production, Osmar Benitez, the Minister of Agriculture, assured journalists.

Source: AP

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