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Promoting competitiveness of agricultural value chains in the Dominican Republic

Project

Digitalisation

In the Dominican Republic, agriculture is of great social and economic importance. The sector provides 8% of the country’s GDP, 14% of the labour force and 25% of total exports. However, the Dominican Republic faces challenges regarding commercial integration with Central America, the US and Europe, to enhance the competitiveness of its rural enterprises and participate in profitable and sustainable value chains. In addition, agriculture has been on the decline across all Caribbean States over the last 10 years.

Aim 

In the Dominican Republic, agriculture is of great social and economic importance. The sector provides 8% of the country’s GDP, 14% of the labour force and 25% of total exports. However, the Dominican Republic faces challenges regarding commercial integration with Central America, the US and Europe, to enhance the competitiveness of its rural enterprises and participate in profitable and sustainable value chains. In addition, agriculture has been on the decline across all Caribbean States over the last 10 years. 

CTA’s project to promote the competitiveness of agricultural value chains in the Dominican Republic aimed to strengthen the value chains for bananas (export) and plantains (local market). The project worked to help producers adhere to good agricultural practices (GAP) and achieve GLOBALG.A.P certification to meet the demands of local and export markets. 

Approach 

Three banana associations in the southern region of the Dominican Republic (COOPPROBATA, ASOPROBADOS, and AUHAPRO) demonstrating low competitiveness and business strength at the production level received financial support from ADOPEM bank in the form of micro-credits to implement good agricultural practices. In June 2016, a market survey to determine the volume and characterisation of the international demand for bananas and local demand for plantains in the hotel sector and supermarkets was carried out. The results were communicated to the managers and members of the different associations involved in the project in order to guide their efforts and production to more lucrative markets. 

As well as training in GAP and GLOBALG.A.P certification to meet the standards of quality required by the tourist and export markets, the strategic and operational plans of COOPPROBATA, ASOPROBADOS and AUHAPRO have been defined to provide technical assistance and training. 

Activities 

The following activities were undertaken during the project time frame from 2015-2017: 

  • A market study of the plantain and banana value chains in the southern region of the Dominican Republic was undertaken: it showed a desire to work collectively; 
  • Development of financial / administrative manuals and strategic planning for AUHAPRO; 
  • Training in market management, associative credit management and management of associative companies; 
  • Training in sustainable soil management and crop nutrition; training in agronomic management; harvest and post-harvest best practise for banana and plantain. 
  • Documentation of the activities carried out and the results obtained during execution of the project. 

Beneficiaries 

The 304 members of the three cooperatives and their families. 

Impact 

  • 349 producers were trained in good agricultural and manufacturing practices needed, their associations have obtained a GLOBALG.A.P certification - non-members were also allowed to participate in the field training. 
  • Rejection of bananas decreased from 40% to 30% due to improved quality of yields produced by trained farmers. 
  • Farmers increased their exports from 1,080 boxes of bananas to 5,200 boxes – each box weighing 18 kg. 
  • 65 farmers and 130 producers trained in financial education to manage credits. 
  • The project promoted the financial inclusion of banana and plantain producers, and as a result, obtained the approval and disbursement of 89 credits for a total amount of over RD$ 3 million (€52,000).