The Dominican Republic's National Council of Merchants and Entrepreneurs (Conacerd) denounced that the garlic sold in the recent auction on the Dominican Agribusiness Exchange (BARD) was overpriced by 7,500 pesos above its normal price, according to its cost in China or the United States.
The executive vice president and general secretary of Conacerd, Antonio Cruz Rojas, said that the current price of a quintal of garlic in both markets, placed in Dominican docks, was 3,000 pesos, plus a 25% customs tariff payment, as this product is part of the Technical Rectification of List XXII of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Cruz Rojas said he was concerned that Decree 569-12, which transfers the products of the Technical Rectification -including garlic, onions, beans, and corn, among others- to the Dominican Agribusiness Exchange so that they are auctioned, had led to an increase in the price of these highly-consumed products to the detriment of the country's poorest population.
According to Cruz Rojas, the most alarming thing is that the country will import garlic in November after the producers of the Constanza Valley have already sold the contracted harvest at a rate of 10,000 pesos per quintal of garlic.
"If we add 7,500 pesos to the 3,750 pesos that the imported garlic costs, including taxes, we can deduct that consumers would save more than 85 pesos per pound of garlic it wasn't being auctioned," he stated.
According to Cruz Rojas, since Decree 569-12 was issued in 2012 to date, “Dominican consumers have been paying a surcharge for the reference items; i.e. up to 400 pesos for a pound of garlic, 80 pesos for a pound of onion, and 70 pesos for pinto beans. In summary, Dominican consumers have paid a surcharge of more than 25,000,000,000 pesos for this unfair cause," he said.