Economy October 18, 2016 | 3:14 pm

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Gov. plan to reforest mountains with coffee gets agro kudos

Santo Domingo.- Dominican Agribusiness Board(JAD) CEO Osmar Benitez on Tuesday lauded president Danilo Medina’s plan toreforest Dominican Republic’s mountains with coffee, because in his viewbenefits small farmers and would develop the coffee industry.

He said more than 30,000 families live coffeecrops, and of them, 98% do so in plots of just over three hectares.

"The poorest farmers are the ones who sustainthe domestic coffee production, and there’s nothing greater to supportdemocracy than with the participation of small ones, from below, the salt ofthe earth in generating wealth in the Dominican countryside," Benitez saidto introduce seven new varieties of coffee developed by coffee giant IndustriesBanilejas (Induban).

To develop the initiative of the NationalReforestation Plan, the Government aims to use two varieties resistant to rot andthe blight which have harmed local plantations in recent years.

The first projects to be implemented will bein the towns of Hondo Valle and Juan Santiago in Elías Piña, and Sabaneta andLa Maguana, in San Juan province.

Last week Medina said his main goals are toconserve water, produce so people have something to live off, and reforest upperwatersheds of affected areas with coffee.

"It’s the first time we take intoaccount the lifestyle of people to reforest because it’s not enough just toissue a decree that prevents the felling of a tree if you don’t have somethingto live on."

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