Agreement signed to increase local production of potatoes for industrial use
Empowerment of potato farmers
President Luis Abinader led in San Juan de la Maguana the signing of an inter-institutional agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and MSMEs (MICM), the Agricultural Bank (Bagricola), and the PepsiCo company (Frito Lay Dominicana ), to support the growth and empowerment of potato farmers in the municipality of San Juan de la Maguana and Constanza, through innovative and sustainable practices that expand their economic opportunities and long-term capabilities.
With the firm commitment to contribute to the economic reactivation of the country, the agreement establishes a public-private partnership between PepsiCo and the government of the Dominican Republic that will seek to increase local potato production from 7,200 tons (2021) to 14,400 tons (2025). . This is thanks to a contract farming model that will accompany Dominican farmers in the planting and harvesting process, helping them to learn and execute better agricultural practices and providing the certainty that PepsiCo will buy their production to supply the output of its LAYS and RUFFLES with potatoes harvested in the Dominican Republic.
This agreement and the commercial relations established with the farmers are strictly by the global standards of the PepsiCo company’s Sustainable Agriculture Program, which will be implemented in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Agricultural Bank, and the Ministry of Industry. Commerce and Mipymes (MICM) to build technical and productive capacities and observe sustainability standards that allow common modernization goals to be achieved and promote mutually beneficial relationships and environmental innovation.
Raymundo Rodríguez, general manager of PepsiCo Alimentos in the Dominican Republic (Frito Lay Dominicana), said that it is a priority for PepsiCo to grow hand in hand with the communities in which the company has the privilege of operating and to do so in a sustainable manner. “At PepsiCo our environmental sustainability agenda is fully integrated into the business and we know it as PepsiCo Positive. One of its central pillars is agriculture and through the Sustainable Agriculture Program, we focus on putting into practice regenerative measures for soil recovery and conservation, optimization of water use and training our agricultural partners so that they are part of the change by while they build resilience and expand their economic opportunities.”
“Last year, we invested more than US$30 million dollars to inaugurate our potato line in our manufacturing plant, and by producing more, we can buy more local potatoes from Dominicans, adhering to our commitment to support their growth and development, together with the government of the Dominican Republic.”
Likewise, Fernando Durán from Banco Agrícola reported that farmers would provide financial support to guarantee potato production and improve productivity and sustainability. “A preferential rate of 6% per year will be granted for acquiring equipment, machinery, supplies, and technologies,” said the official.
For his part, the Minister of Agriculture, Limber Cruz López, stressed that “thanks to the signing of this agreement, the aim is to increase the local production of potatoes for their industrialization. This as part of the strategies implemented by the agricultural institution in favor of national production.”
Finally, the Minister of Industry, Commerce, and MSMEs, Víctor Bisonó, mentioned that “with this agreement, milestones will be achieved, such as the expansion and diversification of potato production areas in the country; have adequate storage spaces for local production; carry out technical assistance projects for the agro-industrial development of potato producers to incorporate technology and mechanize their work; support in producer certifications; execute specialized technical training programs and promote digitalization in potato production processes at the national level.” The signing was made between Víctor Orlando Bisonó Haza, Minister of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Mipymes (MICM); Limber Cruz López, Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture; Fernando Duran.