Dominican Republic: will the next harvest break a record?
- François-Xavier Branthôme
- Read in french
At the beginning of March, the Afconagro (Dominican Association of Canned Foods Manufacturers) and the Ministry of Agriculture set the new season in motion, expecting it to reach record levels this year. According to national industry sources, the crop required an investment of 600 million Dominican pesos (approximately USD 12 million), and is planted in the southern region of Azua, as well as in areas to the North and the North-east of the island. The crop should produce 226 795 metric tonnes (5 million "Dominican quintals*") of processing tomatoes, grown on 5 974 hectares (95 000 "tareas") of land, which corresponds to an average yield of about 37.9 mT/ha.
In a recent speech, the Minister of Agriculture Ángel Estévez pointed out that the tomato industry is one of the main agricultural activities in the Azua region, where approximately 80% of Dominican processing tomatoes are grown. Provincial Governor Féliz García underlined the importance of public support for tomato processing companies, insisting on the need "to consolidate the mechanisms that protect local growers and control import volumes", as well as the benefits of making use of mechanical harvesters in terms of "technical efficiency and the limitation of foreign labor requirements."
Two main brands share the harvest – Transagrícola (Linda brand), and Victoria and Peravia Agroindustrial (La Famosa brand).
*1 Dominican quintal = 45.359 kg