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Dominican Rep: 63% of producers in Constanza close to bankruptcy

Staff Writer |
The National Union of Agricultural Producers (Unaproda) in Dominican Republic reported that 63% of small and medium vegetable producers in Constanza are on the verge of bankruptcy.

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The remaining 37% will face serious problems in the coming days. This is due to the fact that the auctions for the importation of products carried out by the Dominican Agro-business Board (JAD), with the authorization of the Ministry of Agriculture, are saturating the markets and preventing growers from selling their products.

As explained by the Secretary of Unaproda, Alexis Suriel, in May the JAD held an imported garlic auction just when local growers were harvesting the product, a situation that violates decree 569-12, which states that auctions cannot coincide with the harvest time.

"Auctions are carried out when there are production shortages, but local products have to be auctioned first and then imports. The decree is clear in that regard.

"If it becomes necessary to import any more volumes of a given product, the domestic deficit is first checked and, starting from there, the possibility of importing is considered, always taking into account the seasonality of each crop."

He argued that garlic has always been the target of attacks from many sectors, who seem adamant on preventing Constanza, which is the only area growing garlic, from carrying out this activity, despite the fact that the crop is the basis for the subsistence of 100,000 inhabitants.

"The surface devoted to garlic in the 2015-2016 campaign fell by 71.66% and was replaced by potatoes, carrots, cabbage and beets, among others, causing a loss of control in the economy and losses for the producers amounting to more than 300 million pesos," he explained.

Besides Unaproda, claims have also been issued by other producer associations, including the Horticultural Producers of the Valley of Constanza, the Potato Growers of San José de Tireo, Hortícola de Tireo, the Union and Labour Producers and the Producers of La Sabina, which warned about the economic emergency.

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