Poultry farmers export Dominican grown eggs to Cuba in the face of the crisis with Haiti
Santo Domingo.- In response to the trade halt with Haiti since mid-September, poultry farmers have ramped up efforts to find new markets for their products, particularly eggs.
Within three weeks, they have successfully shipped 1,036,800 units to destinations like Aruba, Guyana, Martinique, Saint Martin, and Cuba. However, this action hasn’t fully met the surplus of Haitian demand.
International traders have taken notice of the surplus and approached local producers with business proposals, including an informal call from Spain, as reported by the President of the Dominican Poultry Association (ADA), José Luis Polanco.
Polanco announced that the ADA will soon receive a commission from Cuba to formalize and expand exports to that destination. This effort to diversify markets had already started about three months ago, but the closure of the Dominican-Haitian border in mid-September accelerated the process, attracting interest from around six countries in Creole egg production.
Despite these efforts, Polanco acknowledged that these new destinations won’t match the commercial volume maintained with Haitian merchants, who are the primary buyers of Dominican poultry exports.
The Dominican poultry industry had underestimated the Haitian market’s size, realizing they consume over 45 million eggs monthly, which equates to one and a half million eggs daily. This trend has led to growth in border provinces with producing farms.
The sector has seen significant growth, with 700 national egg producers, and 60% of production coming from advanced technology farms. Quality standards have also improved, with around 126,000 breeders in the country.
Dominican producers currently supply 280 million eggs monthly to meet demand in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The poultry industry in Haiti has faced challenges, and they rely heavily on Dominican egg supplies.
Additionally, the Dominican Republic exports chicken to Haiti, although to a lesser extent, as the Haitian population primarily relies on chicken imports from Brazil.
The closure of the border for nearly a month and a half initially posed challenges, but the Dominican authorities have relaxed trade limitations, providing some relief to poultry farmers. Despite the economic losses, the crisis has prompted the industry to explore other markets, which Polanco sees as a positive outcome.
Regarding losses, Polanco estimated them at around 600 million pesos per month if calculated at two pesos per egg. However, there is no exact figure to compensate for the damage caused by the border closure.
The government has provided a subsidy of 200 million pesos to the poultry sector due to the border closure, with a focus on supporting small and medium-sized producers. The National Price Stabilization Institute (Inespre) has received 25 million units of eggs to sell to the public at affordable prices.