Adoexpo reveals that US ban on fruits and vegetables will affect 50% of its members
SD. The Dominican Association of Exporters (Adoexpo) reported yesterday that around 50% of its membership will be affected by the ban imposed by the United States on 18 farm products of the Dominican Republic, after “detecting the Mediterranean fruit fly in Punta Cana.”
During a press conference held yesterday at the Adoexpo headquarters, the president of the entity, Sadala Khoury, said that because of the ban imposed by the United States it is estimated that at the present time there are some US$5 million in avocados stranded in Dominican ports.
“In the case of avocados specifically, there are companies that are in full harvest, as the avocado producers have told us, and it is estimated that in Dominican ports there are something like $5 million dollars worth of the product ready to leave, that are now facing this situation,” said Khoury.
In this sense, he said that Adoexpo hopes that the eradication of this plague occurs in the short-term, in order that the economic effects can be the least possible.
Among the banned products, besides avocados, there are sapotas, grapefruits, tangerines, sour oranges, papaya, tomatoes, bell peppers, lychee nuts, prickly pear fruit, longan and mangoes.
The presidential measure
In order to deal with this situation, President Danilo Medina instructed yesterday the Minister of Agriculture, Angel Estevez, to continue with the program of stopping the Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly). Both men said that they hope that the United States will soon lift the prohibition for the export of some foods produced here.
The Chief of State spoke with the official for an hour in his office, where Estevez went in order to give the President a detailed report regarding the situation which caused the temporary ban.
According to Minister Estevez, the President told him that the authorities are doing what they are supposed to, so that he urged him to continue with his work.
He said that larva of the fly were detected by Dominican authorities themselves only in the airport at Punta Cana, by means of the traps that are placed in all of the airports of the country.
He insisted that the prohibition is temporary, until the specialized technicians that they requested from the United States carry out an evaluation. These specialists, who, according to what he said, were expected be in the country in within hours.
“They are the ones who are going to lift (the ban); it is temporary until the technicians come to evaluate the situation because they (United States) have it in the system, and we gave them the information and the support which we have received from the American Embassy, was immediate. We told them that we had found two specimens, and now they are evaluating everything,” explained the official.
He made it clear that they are not dealing with a plague, because the fly has not affected any plantation in the country, but rather was just found in traps some 300 m from the Punta Cana International Airport.
CEI – DR
At the same time, the executive director of the Center for Exports and Investment of the Dominican Republic (CEI – DR), Jean Alain Rodriguez, offered his thoughts regarding this case, and he reported that the measure taken by the United States still does not have any economic impact, and the authorities are already working to support the producers.
In this sense, he pointed out that all the products that were in transit, due to international norms, are considered to be eligible to enter the United States.
He assured the reporters that starting now they are going to quantify things in order to determine the impact that the measure might have, and thereby suggests solutions. “The first thing is that this is a temporary measure, and it is an important measure to which a lot of attention must be paid, and this is what the government is doing,” he said.
Measure affects rising commercial stars
The economist Pavel Isa Contreras reported that the exports of vegetables and fruits are, as a group, worth some US$300 million a year and that of this amount only about US$100 million is exported to the United States. He said that he felt that they are dealing with a amount that is relatively modest, of which nearly US$60 million are vegetables and nearly US$40 million are fruits.
“I believe that what is most important, is not so much the amount, but rather that this is affecting a rising star in our commerce,” he pointed out.
March 20, 2015
Category: DR News |