Local September 9, 2020 | 4:05 pm

Tropical Storm Laura left millions in losses in the Dominican Republic’s agricultural sector


The Provincial Council for Agricultural Development of the Province of Azua (Coproda) requested the urgent intervention of President Luis Abinader to mitigate the severe damage caused by storm Laura, estimated at more than RD $ 920 million.

The institution, which groups together 20 organizations and has 22,000 associates, reported that of 234,631 cultivated tasks in various fields, around 64,637 were affected.

These are large areas planted with organic bananas, plantains, onion, coffee, lemons, cassava, and avocado.

In a document signed by Manuel Tejeda, president of Coproda, and the engineer Héctor Méndez Andújar, secretary of the institution, it is explained that the storm also caused considerable damage to 71 kilometers of the irrigation infrastructure. It destroyed three bridges, affected 340 kilometers of the parcels and roads between them; 200 kilometers of local roads; 50 kilometers of main roads, destroyed 1,500 three-inch pipes, and 500 tasks had fencing and wires affected.

For producers to restore their productive capacity, they need financing for RD $ 500 million through the Agricultural Bank, at a zero rate, says the entity.

Producers also require government intervention to restore neighborhood, main and side roads, irrigation systems and have a 100% exemption or subsidy from agricultural insurance.

Damage details. According to the data provided by Coproda, of 21,104 organic banana tasks, 42% suffered damage, which generated losses estimated at RD $ 141.7 million.

Also, of 15,777 conventional banana tasks, 35% were affected, with projected losses of RD $ 88.2 million.

Of 70,315 banana production tasks, 40% were affected; losses are estimated at RD $ 389.5 million.

Also affected was 13% of 61,642 jobs planted with bananas, with damages estimated at RD $ 55.4 million.

The storm also caused damage to onion crops, with losses estimated at RD $ 1.41 million, since it is about 13% of the 210 tasks dedicated to this area.

According to the report prepared by Coproda, the storm affected 25% of the 7,720 tasks planted with cassava; the losses reach RD $ 17.3 million.

Regarding avocado, of 13,194 planted tasks, 30% were destroyed, for estimated RD damage $ 69.4 million.

Likewise, of 8,017 Persian lemon production tasks, 30% were affected, with losses that oscillate RD $ 43.7 million.

The province also affected 30% of the production of Creole lemons, which covers 1,652 tasks. These losses are quantified at RD $ 9,019 million.

Another item affected was coffee. Of 35,000 cultivated tasks, it is estimated that 15% were affected. The damages reach RD $ 7.8 million.

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