The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the Dominican pineapple sector, which is no longer selling 400,000 fruits a week due to the drop in orders from hotels, restaurants, and markets (which are partially closed), as well as from supermarkets, exports, and the processing industry.
Small, medium and large pineapple producers and exporters asked the authorities to come to the aid of the sector on which 1,000 families depend on. They said that the situation was so dire that producers were taking to the streets to try to market their fruits directly, exposing themselves to the virus, for a price that does not offset production costs.
They also stated that, if they do not react to the situation, more than 100 million pesos of investment will be lost, which will imply the bankruptcy of the sector and unemployment, leaving hundreds of families without sustenance and the impossibility of supplying national and international demand.
They also recalled that, even though the Dominican pineapple has a good reputation in the international market, competition is high in the region. In addition, they stated that the country would lose significant income if their production wasn't available when demand returns to normal.
They proposed the Dominican State assume the purchase of some 15,000 tons of processed fruit for a period of 3 months, and that they are used to supply the social plan, school breakfasts, the armed forces, and hospitals.
They also asked to create a subsidy of 3.00 Dominican pesos per pound for processors who buy fruit from local producers, to reach the equilibrium point and avoid the collapse of the sector.
They highlighted that their aid proposal would keep the pineapple sector and the more than a thousand families that live from it afloat during this period, as well as the fruit processing plants that are closed or have no guarantees to market.
The Cevicos Pineapple Producers Association; Agro Piñas del Caribe SRL; Bayanas Gold SAS; Caralinda Agroindustrial SRL; Cooperativa de producers de Piñas de Cevicos; Frutas Chiara SRL; Frudep SRL; Frutas y Vegetales Acevedo SRL; Piñas de Cevicos SRL; and Rancho Carlo SRL, made the request via a statement.