European support for banana industry
The European Union has given €12.5 million (US$16.9 million) in financial support to the Dominican Republic banana industry with the aim of increasing the country’s competitiveness and improving workers’ living conditions.
Just under half of the money will be used for institutional strengthening while the rest will be put in a fund to aid growers. Technical assistance will also be provided as part of the support package.
The Dominican government has also pledged an additional DOP440 million (US$10.1 million) through the Reserve Bank to improve productive capacity and stimulate exports.
It will also contribute technological support and advice on the environment and climate change, along with targeted training for growers and technical institutions through its ministeries.
The program will benefit more than 20,000 producers, and aims to increase national exports by 10%, increase labor by 20%, and reduce chemical use by 50%.
The support is part of the EU’s Bananas Accompanying Measures (BAM) program that benefits industries in certain African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.
It was signed in the Dominican Republic last Thursday by the Agricultural Minister Angel Estevez, Environment Minister Bautista Rojas Gomez, and the Vice Minister for Economic Planning and Development Juan Reyes.
The country’s banana industry provides some 28,000 jobs directly, and an extra 54,000 in seasonal work.
In 2013, more than 347 metric tons (MT) of the fruit were exported, generating around US$164 million in foreign exchange and making the crop one of the nation’s most important agricultural exports.
Category: DR News |