Economy January 27, 2015 | 8:04 am

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Dominican farmlands fall victim to sprawl

Santo Domingo.- The razing of major tracts of Dominican Republic’s farmlands for housing or shopping centers begs the question of whether it might jeopardize food security at some point.

The phenomenon isn’t exclusive to one geographical location since during several years the northern, southern and eastern provinces, where the problem has become quite visible now.

“How long will the country withstand increasing use of land for activities which don’t produce food for the population?” is a question producers and civil society actors often ask, and they warn that "certain controls or regulations must be established, or we risk relying on imports in the future," reports.

Dominican Republic produces 85% of its food, according to officials figures and from international organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Dominicans are self-sufficient in rice and similar crops and its lands can yield vegetables, grains and cattle pastures, among others.

It’s been estimated that its land can even feed around 20 million people, but as its population grows, the story will likely change.

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