Economy July 19, 2016 | 11:21 am

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Blaming imports, 63% of central highlands vegetable growers could go under

Constanza,- Dominican Republic.- The agro producers groupedin the Unaproda on Monday said 63% of Constanza’s small and medium vegetable growersis on the verge of bankruptcy and the remaining 37% will face serious problemsin the coming days, “because the Dominican Agribusiness Board’s (JAD) auctions toimport products authorized by the Agriculture Ministry.”

It said the imports saturate the markets and keeps growersfrom selling their harvest.

Unaproda secretary Alexis Suriel said the JAD held anauction to import garlic in May, “just when local farmers were harvesting theproduct, a situation that violates decree 569-12, which states that auctions cannotbe made at harvest time.”

"The auctions are done when production is scarce, but Dominicanproducts should be auctioned first and then the imports. The decree is clear inthat regard. If import any further quantity of a product is necessary, firstcheck the internal deficit and from there, study the possibility of importing,respecting the seasonality of production for each crop. "

He said garlic has always been the target of attack frommany quarters who wager against Constanza, which is the only area that growsit, and don’t even know that it’s the crop that sustains an economy with 100,000inhabitants. "Of the 667 hectares planted for the 2014-2015 harvest, only220 were planted for the 2015-2016 harvest, representing 71.66% less.”

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