Economy May 4, 2016 | 10:34 am

Regional Fruit Day promotes production, consumption

Santo Domingo.- To promote fruit production and consumptionand their link to family farmers market is the goal of Regional Fruits Day,which the Agriculture, Health and Education ministries of Central Americancountries and the Dominican Republic marked for the first time on Tuesday.

The FAO jointly with the Agricultural Council (CAC), the ofCentral America and Panama Nutrition Institute (INCAP), the Joint RegionalFruit Production Technical Committee (CTMF) and the Mesoamerican Fruticulture Project(PROMEFRUT/IDB) join the initiative to promote fruit cultivation in CentralAmerica and the Dominican Republic as a strategic sector to advance the goal oferadicating hunger and malnutrition.

FAO Mesoamerica Coordinator Tito E. Díaz said fruits productionand consumption contributes to reduce rural poverty and bolster sustainabledevelopment of the region’s countries from three key perspectives.

"On the one hand, it contributes to the strengtheningof family farming and the insertion of producers to formal markets; second, itoffers a choice of healthy foods to tackle the problems of obesity andoverweight that exist in the region; and finally, with sustainable management,fruit crops also contribute to the mitigation and adaptation of climate change,"he said.

Production and jobs

In Central American countries and the Dominican Republic765,000 hectares cultivate fruits, or 29% of the region’s agro production and accountsfor more than 400,000 jobs created annually, only in the cultivation wherefruits are grown.

Bananas, oranges, plantains, pineapples, coconuts, mangos,melons, avocados, lemons, cashew nuts, watermelons and papayas are the main fruits grown in this region.

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